holiday family traditions: part 2

i wanted to share some stories of family traditions from others. it’s always fun to learn how others families celebrate the holidays, and sometimes you may find a tradition you would like to start with your own family.

the next post is from my friend Donelle. she has one cute little boy who is 17 months old, and lives in Carlsbad, California. here is a little about her traditions:

“Family traditions have been huge in my family growing up. One of my favorites was the homemade tamales that I helped my Mom make every year for us to enjoy on Christmas morning and then family Christmas Eve party at my parents. Over the years, things have evolved. After my sister had a couple kids we started doing Christmas morning at her house to ease the travel for them. Before my husband, my sisters and I would spend the night at my other sister’s house and be woken up by the kids to start off the morning. It was a great experience to watch Christmas unfold through the eyes of my nieces. Christmas 2004 made Christmas even more memorable for me from that point on. My husband proposed to me on Christmas morning with all my family there to share. It was amazing and I will never forget it. Thus making Christmas one of my favorite times of the year!

So Christmas 2004 started the tradition of sharing Christmas morning with my family and Christmas afternoon/evening with my hubby’s family, which has worked out well since my family doesn’t do anything after Christmas morning. It’s a busy time, but family is worth it! Having a little one around for our first time for us last Christmas was quite a change, our son was only 5 1/2 months at the time so he wasn’t quite sure what to make of the day, but enjoyed playing with wrapping paper and watching everyone. Since my immediate family which includes my husband and son is such a young family (my son is 17 1/2 months), we are still figuring out what types of traditions we want to include for our son to learn and grow knowing. I definitely want to try and include a tamales tradition of my own as my son gets older and can help me and we grow our family with more kids, so that’ll be something I can include in the future of traditions and there are other ideas I have that I feel need to be saved for next year or later on as my son gets older and can really comprehend everything that is going on.

The first tradition I tried to teach my son this year is who Santa is. My husband and I took Tre to meet Santa for the first time together at the mall down the street from our house. He was NOT having it. We sat him on Santa’s lap and he immediately started crying. So we decided to take a family photo instead. After leaving I kind of wished that even though Tre cried I would’ve accepted a photo with just him. I attempted our luck again a week or so later, this time Tre didn’t cry when I got near Santa, but he still wouldn’t sit on Santa’s lap. Oh well. I tried and that’s all I can do this year. Next year we’ll try again. Something regarding the whole Santa thing a tradition I think will be super cute to start is something called “Elf on the Shelf. This is where we place this cute little elf throughout the house (changing his placement each day). It is something that you tell your little munchkin that the elf reports back to Santa so they better behave. Hehe. It sounds like something fun and cute I’d like to incorporate.

Second was seeing Christmas lights. Tre LOVES lights in general so I thought this would be something he would REALLY like. We took Tre to a house in San Marcos that is covered in 80,000+ lights. They allow you to walk around the house and check everything out close up. I thought it would be great to show Tre close up all the awesome twinkling lights among other things that they had placed all over their house. He was so cute when he would say “Lights” and point all over, then if he saw a character he recognized he would call out their name. It was really cute to see his face just engrossed in all that he was looking at. My Dad does an amazing job of decorating their house and I look forward to coming up to their house for holiday events every year so we can see the house. I look forward to the day that we have a house that we can decorate with lights on the exterior (currently we own a condo in a condo association).

Third is something we shall see on Christmas morning how it all goes down. The stocking stuffers and gifts from Santa and family. I have 3 nieces and 1 nephew so they will definitely be an influence on how Tre perceives this experience. I hope that he learns as he gets older that Christmas isn’t all about the gifts you get and we can instill some more meaningful traditions into his life, like the importance of family and the time we get to spend with each other, etc.

As you can see our traditions for my young family is still evolving and I look forward to Christmases to come as our family grows to create some traditions we call our own!”

thanks Donelle for sharing your story! do any of you have a special tradition you’d like to share?

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