Posts tagged tradition

Christmas Season Traditions

Every family it seems has their own set of holiday traditions. Some have been handed down for years, and some will be started this year. When your family expands from two adults, to the addition of a child it seems the best time to find new things that will be your family’s traditions for years to come. Even though this is our fourth Christmas as a family with children, we are still finding what our traditions will be. We have some that we do already, but each year as the kids are better able to participate, and express opinions things change.

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Bitty K1

 

Things we do that I consider to be traditions;

I word it that way, because it is possible that you already do some of these things, but do not consider them traditions.

 

Decorate the house – This is not a requirement in order to enjoy and celebrate the holiday season, but for us it is. We do more than just put up a tree, and I do not enjoy it alone. The kids love it. They love all the extra lights, garland, stars, and trinkets everywhere. In past years, as in every year since I was 18, I had to put up at least one Christmas decoration on Thanksgiving. Now that there is an early December birthday in our immediate family I decided to wait until after K2’s birthday to decorate. When he is old enough to know how he feels about it, maybe we will change it back, but for now immediately after his birthday we decorate.

When the time comes that we decorate the tree, we MUST listen to Christmas music. The whole time.

 

The ladies go to the Nutcracker Ballet – I just posted about this years trip to the ballet so I won’t go into huge detail. We go, we enjoy, we get a new ornament. Done

 

We get a new children’s Christmas book each year – I didn’t realize until this year that there are TON’s of Christmas book tradition suggestions popping up everywhere. Our tradition was created by me, from my brain. Not Pinterest, not a friend, not facebook. I started it K1’s first Christmas. We do just what I said, get a new book each year, to read, over and over and over again the whole month of December. Starting on December first, regardless of the December birthday.

I realized this year that in the future this may become a problem. Right now at 3 and 2 my kids love whatever book I give them, but as they grow and mature that may not remain the same. There most likely will come a day when they want to pick out their own Christmas Book, and I am already inclined to let them. I am okay sitting back and just watching how this works out in the future. I did run the idea by daddy of letting them each get a new book each year that we would hold for them for when they have kids or move out. Daddy is convinced they won’t want them. Either way we will see.

 

I hang a Christmas Pickle – My children were still a little young for this to really make sense to them last year, but this year should be better. K1 will find it, K2 will have no idea what is going on for one more year. For those of you who are scratching their heads right now, it is a tradition that is from Germany. The Christmas pickle ornament is hung on the tree on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning who ever finds it first get’s a special gift. This year I am thinking that gift will be a pack of stickers. I just think this is a very easy fun thing to do, so why not?

 

We go see lights – I know lots and lots of family’s do this, and you should. It’s free! Besides we hang lights for others to enjoy too, that is kind of the point. Just don’t be creepy about it or anything. Last year we did most of our Christmas light viewing bike riding. We packed up the kids in the bike trailer and headed out. If you live in an area where this is an option, do it! You can see so much better from a bicycle than you can from a car. We even went to a neighborhood parked our car and walked to see the lights. Also nice and I recommend it. It make a small neighborhood seem much larger taking up more time. Also the kids and stand and stare at their favorite display even longer without the added pressure of the car behind you.

Just so you know how serious we are about lights, S proposed to me while we were viewing lights bike riding.

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Everyone get’s new pajamas they open on Christmas Eve – This tradition came from S’s family. I guess we do it a little differently, but it was his family’s tradition. Mommy and daddy get each other a new pair of pajamas, and the kids get a new pair of pajamas for each other. This could get really entertaining in the future.

 

We do lot’s of other things throughout December, but I wouldn’t call them tradition. It isn’t make or break for me if they get done or not. I like it that way. I would hate to have so many traditions that one busy year they will overwhelm me and therefore be a hindrance.

 

You’ll notice that decorating sugar cookies is not on this list. No way. They are a disaster and I am an adult, never mind kids. I hate making sugar cookies, all that rolling and rolling and more rolling. We will bake and eat cookies all season long, just not crazy decorated ones.

 

You will also notice gingerbread house making does not make the list. Yes we did one the last two years, but it’s not critical. I also love not making this a tradition because if someone else is crazy enough to do this with the kids, I will let them.

 

What are some of your family’s holiday traditions? Or which is your favorite holiday tradition?

The Nutcracker 2013

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Every family has their own set of holiday traditions, and I plan to fill you in on some of ours a little later this week. One thing that we started last year was going to the Nutcracker Ballet.

 

K1, a friend and myself, have gone together the last two years. And plan to continue this ladies tradition for years to come.

 

Last year K1 was 2.5 and I felt that she was old enough to sit through the performance. I knew she would love it, because she has always been drawn to dancing. Sitting still and staying is another story. I planned ahead and snuck in snacks. While she had her own seat we passed her back and forth between us. She made it through the whole ballet. During the intermission I did everything I could to get her to run, run, run in those short 15 minutes. Just to burn as much energy as possible. I also found myself walking the aisles until the minute the dancing started, just so she had to sit for the shortest amount of time possible.

 

I knew all of those things would not be necessary this year. It’s crazy how much our kids change in just one year. I love how accommodating The San Diego Civic Youth Ballet seems to be. Last year another mom suggested this particular ballet because they didn’t mind her kids dancing in the aisles. When we arrived last year, that is basically what the attendants told me without my asking. They just saw my tiny one and knew. I appreciated the reassurance, especially when you see everyone dressed all fancy.

 

I don’t exactly know why I thought this year would be completely easy breezy, but I was wrong. It was still a challenge, just a different challenge.

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Naturally all photography is with my camera phone, because photography during the ballet is not allowed.

 

This year my 3.5 year old did well, but ……. isn’t there always a but with kids? She convinced herself that the Nutcracker himself was scary before the lights even went down to start the show. She wanted to leave when all we were doing was sitting in our seats. I toughed through her shrieks because I knew she was going to love it, just like last year. It’s a good thing mommy’s know better than their little counterparts, because as soon as little girls in pretty dresses started prancing across the stage she was sucked in.

 

No that was not the end of our struggle. I didn’t expect that she would want a constant commentary, or that she would have one to share.

 

“Mommy, what’s that girls name? There are 5 mice up there! Mommy there are 10 little girls, I want to count them, what’s that guys name?” And so on, throughout the entire ballet.

 

Then the sugar. Oops! I told her she could have a snack at the break, and mostly let her pick whatever she wanted. Fruit snacks, and grape juice, oh my. She didn’t drink all the juice, but did eat all the sugar fruit snacks. That made her just a little bit more crazy in the second half. I should also add that we went to a 7 PM showing and the time of day could also have effected her some. The good news is that the second half moves the fastest and is the loudest.

Nutcracker

Either way it was till a good time. My friend and I talk about the day we might get to go to the grown up ballet, but after yesterday I realize that is still quite a few years away.

 

I also decided yesterday that I need a nutcracker box. Like just a box decorated to somehow resemble the Nutcracker ballet. I want to save the tickets and programs from each year. Yes at some point it might just become trash, but it would be sweet to save them for K1. I also want to put her nutcracker ornaments in there. I figure there are enough characters in the Nutcracker that a new ornament each year could be possible for a very very long time. Then one day it will be one cute box that she will take with her …… not anytime soon of course, filled with memories.

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The civic youth ballet is a non profit, so aside from ticket sales, snack and gift purchases they rely on donations to support their program. I knew that this year and that is why I planned to buy snacks there, when I could have brought them with me. That is also the reason I decided to let K1 pick out an ornament there. We won’t get on there every year, but for now, to support their program we will.

 

Naturally she HAD to have the pink ballerina. She had a choice between two poses and settled on the one in the picture. All in all we had a great time and I love this tradition.

 

Anyone know any great guy things to do for the holidays? (Boys need traditions too)

Getting Ready for St. Patricks Day!

The reason to be GREEN is here again. You know St. Patrick’s day. I love this holiday. Maybe because I am Irish, and from a very Irish city. (like my great grandma came straight off the boat, from Ireland) I grew up on the parade route in Holyoke, MA, which according to this website ranks 7th best St. Patricks Day parade, and boasts 2nd largest in the US. So yea, for me it’s kind of a big, fun, deal.

Oh yea, we grow these here. 

As a kid we never had any leprechaun tricks, that was never really my mom’s style. I really love it though, it’s super fun. I have no idea what I will come up with this year. Pretty sure we will figure it out Saturday night. We’re cool like that and plan ahead and all.
The kids and I will head out and off to meet a friend at the local St. Patrick’s day parade. I love the parade, and so did K1 last year. Even though it was raining, she still loved it. Fortunately this year there will be no rain, woohoo!
Last year I went all sorts of crazy and had Irish food for a week. (here were my results)It was really super fun, and I will do it again, but not this year. Sunday I will just be making, plain Jane, good old, corned beef and cabbage. I prefer bangers and mash, but still love corned beef and cabbage. I normally make it a few times a year, but have not made any since last year, so it will be extra special.

What are your St. Patrick’s Day plans? Have any great prank ideas your willing to share?

Gwen

Leprechaun tricks

We were had, prankster!
Okay, so ye ole leprechaun came to our house last night. He did sooo much! Definitely up to mischief.

No it’s not Mickey Mouse. Or not intended to be anyway.

The water come out of our bathroom faucet green, the tub was full of balloons, K1’s bathwater was green. He stickered mommy and daddy’s faces while they were sleeping, spewed Lucky Charms from upstairs to down stairs, flipped over chairs and toys, toilet papered the living room, turned the water in the fridge green, left green footprints outside and gold nuggets. He even made the breakfast pancakes green! He got mommy too. The coffee creamer was green unexpectedly.

Art work and Lucky Charms.

In return he gave the dog a new green bandanna. He left gold “nuggets” where he caused mayhem, and “pooped” in shoes …. But covered the “poop” with Skittles and Nuggets.

Leprechaun “Poop” and Gold Nuggets.

I have to admit it was lots of fun. I can see how it will get harder as babies get older. Really we can talk about this in front of them right now and they don’t know, so it’s easier. I mean I took K1 shopping with me.  Either way definitely a tradition we will keep up.

After just 1 roll of TP

It’s fun making a mess of the house on purpose. Pretty sure DD (K1) would have had fun toilet papering the living room.

Our pranks cost a total of $15. $10 of that cost was the candy, which was also not what I wanted. Tell me why I couldn’t find chocolate gold coins anywhere? Definitely fun fun.

Me, that lady, dressed up for the parade

Did you get pranked today? What happened?

You can still enter into my giveaway for The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs here.

Gwen

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