Favorite Thing Friday: Favorite Holiday Traditions

SippyCupChroniclesFavoriteThingFridayI’m linking up with Jenny this week from Sippy Cup Chronicles for her Favorite Thing Friday.  She is doing a special holiday edition and asked for everyone to share their favorite ornament or decorations.  Well, I wanted to take that a step further and share with you a little of how we celebrate Christmas.  Some of our family traditions.

The first Christmas my husband and I spent together was in 1998.  Neither one of us really had much of anything to decorate a tree with.  We had to go out and buy all new.  I did get a few mementos from my parents to add to our tree that year.  But the rest we had to buy ourselves which included a tree topper.  Oh the first of many compromises we would make as husband and wife, star or angel on our tree.

We Had A Star That 1st Christmas

My husband won that year.  I shouldn’t really say won.  Honestly, I had so many memories wrapped up in our old family angel atop our tree when I was a child that I knew I could never replace that.  The struggles my dad had every year getting the angel to sit and spin.  Hearing how it was bought my parent’s 1st Christmas in Texas where my dad was stationed in the army.  It was as old as my brother.  There was just no replacing that tree topper and I didn’t want to try so I conceded to the star.

Life is funny though.  As the years went on I now insist that we have an angel.  My husband wants to go back to the star, but I keep saying no we need the angel.  There’s just something about having an angel on top of the tree.

We Traded In The Glass Ball Ornaments For A Mix

So remember those few mementos from my parents I had?  Well, I do still have them, but to fill in the rest of the tree I had gotten glass ball ornaments.  I don’t even have those ornaments anymore from our first Christmas.  I think they all broke over the years.

But as our family has grown so has our collection of ornaments.  We have so many now we can’t get them all on the tree.  Every year the kids each get their own ornament though.  Sometimes if my husband and I finds something that we really like we’ll get an ornament or two.  After all, someday our kids will grow up and move out and take their ornaments with them, we’ll need our own ornaments to decorate our tree with.

This year I have two favorite ornaments.  There is the one that a friend gave me shortly after we lost Celeste.  It was so sweet and thoughtful because she got it personalized and it even sort of resembles our children.  So the perfect addition to our tree and to make sure everyone is included.  And then there is the ornament we picked up on vacation in New Hampshire this year.  Seven reindeer to represent everyone in our family, including our little angel.  It’s perfect.

I do love all of the kids 1st Christmas ornaments too of course, but these two are my favorites this year and well, they will be prominently displayed on our tree for the rest of time.

Decorating The Tree

We all chip in to decorate the tree.  Even the baby who kept taking off and moving the same ornament around the tree several times.  It’s a group effort.  We pull out the ornaments and reminisce over them.  Maybe even shed a tear or two.  And we yell at each other and laugh with each other and be silly with each other.

Reaching up high to place the ornament

Concentrating hard

Such a goofball.

On or maybe off for the millionth time.

I love capturing these sort of memories.  Before I know it none of them are going to want to do this with us.

When All Is Said And Done

All of the lights are on the tree and all of the ornaments are placed.  Everything is cleaned up and it’s time to sit down and relax and look at the tree.  No other lights on just the lights of the tree.  Do you know what the best seat in the house is for this?  Well, in this house, much to my husband’s dismay, that would be under the tree.  I have yet to get my husband to try this, but looking at the tree from the inside up is a magical experience.  And one which my kids look forward to every year.

The Rest Of Our Traditions

Well lets see now that everything is up we have a stuffed reindeer named Snowball who reports to Santa what the kids are up to everyday.  Yes, it’s like the elf on the shelf only we have been doing this for many many many years longer and Snowball is not a creepy looking elf.  He mostly hangs out in our tree, but sometimes he’ll move ever so slightly.  Sometimes he leaves for a while to go report directly to Santa.

We also enjoy doing Advent calendars, visits with Santa, and then every year on Christmas day after we open our presents we go to the movies.  We pick a family movie.  It’s really our one movie of the year. Very rarely do we go to the movie theater for another movie because of the cost.  So this is a fun and special treat.  A much needed break too.

So these are my favorite holiday traditions.  What are yours?  Link up with Jenny over at Sippy Cup Chronicles to tell her.

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  1. I love the idea of Snowball the reindeer! Sounds like a much cuter version of the elf on the shelf :) Stopping by from the Favourite thing Friday blog hop :) http://www.lapetitelulu.com/

  2. love the Snowball idea too! That elf creeped me out. We have it, but like the reindeer idea a lot better! I also love the laying under the tree idea :) So many cute pictures and memories!

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