Friday, December 24, 2010

holiday week 2010: day 4.

Past Traditions
  • My mother used to take my brother and I out one night in the car - in our pajamas - and drive us around to see all the Christmas lights. We would point out our favorites and then pick which one we thought was the best all around. She brought a letter along that she'd printed out to put in the mail box of the "winner," stating that my brother and I had picked their house as the prettiest one in the neighborhood. It was always so. much. fun. and it's something I want to do with my kids someday.

  • Speaking of Christmas lights, there used to be a house in the next town over that had tons and tons of lights and decorations. There were things hanging from the trees, light-up figurines in the yard, a moving Santa on the porch, and lights everywhere. We used to stop by after Christmas Eve festivities, when I was all tuckered out from excitement and still in my holiday dress and tights. It was magical, especially when I was still little.

  • A few things always happened when opening gifts: we had to wait in my parents' room while my dad set up the video camera to tape us, my dad rang our set of jingle bells to signal us to come downstairs, and stockings were always opened after gifts. My brother and I would compare each and every thing we got in our stocking, making sure we both got the same or similar things.

  • For a couple years, my cousins and I put on a little show for Christmas Day. One year we acted out the Grinch. Another year we acted out the song 'Nuttin' for Christmas,' which went well until the part about filling the sugar bowl with ants, at which point my older cousin accidentally flung all the sugar in the air. Finally, in what was our most successful performance, Lynds and I choreographed a dance (using choreo from my dances and her cheerleading routine) in 2005 to 'L.O.V.E.' by Ashlee Simpson. We wore matching outfits and everything.

  • On my mom's side of the family, we always had to take pictures as soon as everyone had arrived. I guess it was to prevent us from being uncooperative later once we were tired. We usually piled onto the couch, the six of us cousins sitting with our grandparents, then took turns sitting in twos with them.

    Present Traditions
  • Beginning in 2005, Lynds and I have been getting together the week of Christmas to make desserts for our family party. Sometimes we pretend we're on a cooking show, other times we just blast Christmas music and dance around the kitchen while we bake. We always have our Santa hats on and my uncle always threatens to eat all the goodies before Christmas. This year we made snickerdoodles and apple crumb squares and are also making mini cheesecakes, cupcakes, and brownies. We also had a baking emergency halfway through because we ran out of flour - thank goodness for Walgreens!

  • On my dad's side of the family, we always play some sort of game. One of our favorites is Outburst, but we've also played trivia games, Guitar Hero, and DDR (which we even got my aunt to try!). This year we're gifting our family a trivia game based on A Christmas Story and I cannot wait to play it.

  • It is not a Christmas Eve party without sprinkle cookies from Judicke's bakery. We always have a ton of desserts when celebrating with my mom's side of the family, but there has not been a year without sprinkle cookies. Which is good, because they are delicious.

  • On Christmas Eve, Santa rides around our neighborhood on top of a fire truck, with its lights flashing and the sirens blaring. Every year - even now - I eagerly start listening for the sirens when it gets around the time he'll be coming by. When I was little, my dad used to carry me outside (I was in pajamas and didn't want to wear shoes), me in my Santa hat and him carrying our jingle bells, and we'd wave as Santa went by. My dad and I still go outside every year without fail and wave.
I hope you enjoyed reading my Christmas posts this week! I've been busy as a bee and am now finally ready for three days of celebrations. I'm wishing all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and lots and lots of happiness this weekend.