I got something, I got something!!

I got something and now I need your input.  My last post was a cry for help…and help I got.  Tam suggested a holiday post so here goes.

I have a new family, and so now I have the chance of starting new holiday family traditions.  With the holidays quickly approaching, I want to know what YOUR traditions are.

Thanksgiving:
Enjoy home cooked or purchase pre-prepared food and enjoy time with family?

Travel or have guests come to your house?

Best china or disposable for easy clean up?

Do you decorate the whole house, or just wait until Christmas?

Ever worked at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen on Thanksgiving?  Would you bring young kids or wait till they are older?

Christmas:
Open gifts Christmas Eve or wait till morning?

Leave out cookies and milk and a carrot, or depend on all the other families in the world to feed Santa and Rudolph on Christmas Eve?

Midnight service or early?

Ever visit another church on Christmas Eve?

How do you teach your kids that it’s not about getting presents?  What traditions do you have to teach giving and helping?

Share a good holiday story or share one family tradition from your childhood that you will NOT continue as an adult or parent.

Thanks and lets have fun!

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5 thoughts on “I got something, I got something!!

  1. Debbie says:

    Holiday traditions…wow…is it that time already? We will be comiing up with some new family traditions this year I think. We used to go to my Grandparent’s house up in the woods. Grandpa would always have a fire in the fireplace for me….Grandma would always have the turkey in the oven and the vegetables ready to go. We would do this for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    This year with Grandma and Grandpa in assisted living…these traditions will change. And to be honest…I have not even thought about how we will celebrate this year.
    One think I always did with Kaitlyn since she was very young was to place toys under the tree that she does no play with any more. She would choose. Santa would come and take those toys and give them to the children who have less than we do. And in return he would leave Kaitlyn’s gift. I wanted Kaitlyn to realize that giving is very important.
    As far as decorating….I used to go all out….when Kaitlyn was younger..but have not done it for the past 3 or 4 years. Last year, though, I was really missing the decorations in the windows and around the whole house. Maybe that will change also this year…maybe I will go back to decorating. We used to start the day after Thanksgiving.
    Kaitlyn gets new Christmas pj’s every year on Christmas Eve but all other gifts are opened on Christmas morning. And, NO, Santa and his reindeer are NEVER forgotten. We leave cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Kaitlyn also writes a letter every year and Santa writes her back. On year Kaitlyn even insisted on leaving Santa a gift…a blanket to keep him warm. HEHEHE.

  2. tam says:

    Thanksgiving:
    Enjoy home cooked or purchase pre-prepared food and enjoy time with family?

    HOME COOKED ALL THE WAY!

    Travel or have guests come to your house?

    FINALLY, WE DONT HAVE TO TRAVEL. ALL THE FAM IS HERE IN TOWN NOW.

    Best china or disposable for easy clean up?

    UM. NEITHER. JUST REGULAR EVERYDAY STUFF. I AM SO NOT FANCY.

    Do you decorate the whole house, or just wait until Christmas?

    I AM A TERRIBLE HOLIDAY DECORATOR. MY EVERY DAY HOME DECOR IS NICE, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THEMATICS – IM ALL BLANK!

    Ever worked at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen on Thanksgiving? Would you bring young kids or wait till they are older?

    YES, WE HAVE. WE DID IT AS A FAMILY. IT WAS GREAT. THE KIDS WERE PRETTY YOUNG. KOTA WAS PROBABLY YOUNGER THAN MARY. IT WAS A GREAT EXPERIENCE FOR ALL OF US. WE ALSO VOLUNTEER AT OUR FOOD PANTRY.

    Christmas:
    Open gifts Christmas Eve or wait till morning?

    I HAVE TO FORCE MY FAMILY EACH YEAR TO WAIT TIL CHRISTMAS MORNING! AND I WIN 🙂

    Leave out cookies and milk and a carrot, or depend on all the other families in the world to feed Santa and Rudolph on Christmas Eve?

    HAVE NEVER DONE THIS. NOT OPPOSED TO IT. JUST NEVER DID IT FOR SOME REASON.

    Midnight service or early?

    WE HAVE CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES EACH YEAR. I LOVE THEM!!!

    Ever visit another church on Christmas Eve?

    THAT WOULD BE FUN. BUT BEINGS MY MAN IS THE MUSIC PASTOR AT OURS…THAT JUST WOULDNT LOOK RIGHT 😉

    How do you teach your kids that it’s not about getting presents? What traditions do you have to teach giving and helping?

    FORTUNATELY OUR KIDS LOVE GIVING. SO THIS HAS BEEN FAIRLY EASY FOR US. BUT WE ALWAYS LIKE TO TALK ABOUT HOW GOD GAVE US THE BIGGEST GIFT EVER, IN HIS SON. SO CHRISTMAS TIME IS A TIME FOR US TO GIVE GIFTS TO ONE ANOTHER. TO REALLY PUT SOME TIME AND THOUGHT AND EFFORT INTO IT…KNOWING THAT GOD MUST BE PLEASED WHEN WE GIVE TO ONE ANOTHER, NOT IN THE SAME WAY HE DID (WE CAN NEVER DO THAT) BUT TO “FLESH OUT” A GIVING SPIRIT MUST PLEASE HIM.

    family tradition that i will NOT, and have not, continued from my childhood is overdoing it with the gifts! my mom went absolutely nuts!!! i DO like to get my kids presents. and i often time dont realize how many i have purchased throughout the month of december. but no one could out buy or out give my mother. she was crazy! it was always so overwhelming to me.

  3. tam says:

    this is my longest comment ever!!!!

  4. lori says:

    I LOVE long comments!!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Debbie I think you and Kaitlyn have the most wonderful tradition of putting her toys under the tree for Santa to give to other children. What a great way to help kids surrender some of their old toys without the trauma! I used to give Christmas PJ’s to my niece and nephew…still do although it’s getting harder at 14 and 16…but they would open that on Christmas eve and nothing else. Last year my sister started doing it for Mary. It’s a tradition of PJs from Auntie that just needs to continue!!

    Tam I love your insightfulness. I desire to seek Him in more ways, outside “the box” if you will that we find ourselves in. In your comments, you speak of how you as a family talk about the greatest gift and about how giving to one another must please Him. I LOVE that. I love the picture that reveals of your heart, and the heart of your family.

    See, now I heart Tam too!!

  5. amester says:

    Hi Lori

    Just a few things that we do around here:

    We start decorating on the first-and start with the nativities that we have. They have their own for their room and we have several around the house so we are constantly talking about the Christmas story. We will also start using a jesse tree this year in addition to the regular traditions which I am pretty excited about. You can find out more here: http://www.jesse-trees.com. I have had several friends that use this and it has been a blessing to them.

    We open one present on Christmas Eve-and it is new pj’s for all. We also put out a carrot, milk and cookies simply out of habit. Last year I had to point out to he girls that they had been eaten so we may nix that this year.

    Also, we only give them each three gifts as in the three gifts Jesus received and it works well for them, mostly because they do not know any different. They are still little but keeping them out of the stores really helps control the gimme’s. Now if we could just get everyone else on board in our family…

    We have a soup kitchen at our church and I have recently asked if the girls are too young to help and they said no-it would just mean keeping an eye on them a little closer, but I think it is a valuable lesson regardless of the age. Especially done with a parent so that the questions that are bound to come up can be worked out together by sharing the same experience. They have also been involved in gathering food for baskets at a local agency and they are so excited to share in any way.

    Before the girls, I would visit a Catholic church for Midnight Mass with a friend and it was always very special. We tend to go to an earlier service now, but I would love to start taking them to midnight mass soon, there is something so spiritually wonderful about that time of night on that specific night for me.

    Ok, more info than you may have wanted 🙂 Hope it helps!

    Amy

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