Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Morning Traditions ~ So Many Christmas Memories

Christmas morning was full of traditions in my family. As a kid, a lot of these “traditions” seemed more like “rules” though. Once I had walking, talking kids of my own, who were very literally bouncing off the walls on Christmas morning, chomping at the bit to get to the presents… well, I suddenly understood my parents’ traditions.

First rule, er... I mean tradition: We children waited in our rooms until after we heard dad go downstairs to light a fire in the fireplace. This kept all the kids under control and out of my parents’ hair until THEY were ready to start the craziness.

Second tradition: The family ate Christmas breakfast (cinnamon toast and orange juice) together. This gets something besides candy (although cinnamon sugar on toast is a little iffy here) inside the kids’ tummies before they dump out the stockings and start gorging on chocolate and candy canes.

Third tradition: Dad, and ONLY DAD, went downstairs to get the home movie camera ready to go. This was not a video camera. This was an old silent home movie camera with a GIANT light affixed to the top for indoor lighting purposes. The kids lined up at the top of the stairs with mom supervising, and when dad had the camera rolling, we went down the stairs in a somewhat orderly fashion and checked out the gifts Santa Claus had brought. Let me tell you, that light on top of the camera made it pretty difficult to even make it down the stairs, let alone see what Santa brought for us. I think we all were seeing blue halos for at least a couple hours every Christmas morning. My parents wanted to get all our reactions on film. I’m glad they did. Those old home movies are so much fun to watch now.

Fourth tradition: We all sat together and each took turns opening gifts. This was so my parents could see our reactions to each of the gifts. And it made the whole holiday last longer than if it were just a big free-for-all.

Now I’ve never been as organized and with it as my parents were. I tried to make my kids stay in their rooms until I got up on Christmas morning, but around age six, they weren’t so compliant in this department. So Santa Claus started wrapping his gifts so the kids couldn’t just walk into the living room and see what they got. I don’t really do breakfast, so how can I expect my kids to, especially on Christmas morning?! I’m lucky if I can manage to make a cup of coffee before everything turns to chaos.

I’ve never had a video camera, so I try to remember to leave the regular camera in the living room on Christmas Eve so I can at least get a few snapshots to remember the moments as they fly past. The one Christmas morning tradition that I have held tightly to is the taking of turns to open gifts. I spend a lot of time and money picking out gifts, and I want to see my kids’ reactions to them.

Most people want to do “better” than their parents did. When it comes to Christmas, there is no way possible that I could do better. I can’t even do “mediocre” compared to them, they set the bar so high. Congratulations, guys! You’ve bested all of your children! And I love you for it!

1 comment:

Kylee and Kevin Ostler said...

OMG I love the picture at the bottom! I'm loving the frequent Christmas blogs, keep it up please :)