for moms who are more.

thursday: LLP’s, holidays.

ahhhhhh this is truly my favorite time of the year.

my two favorite holidays…thanksgiving, and christmas.

for thanksgiving every year, ben and I take the roadtrip up to Jasper, TN (right outside of Chattanooga) and visit all of bens family. the time is pretty much consumed by hikes, bonfires, lots of cooking, lots of cutting down trees, tractor rides, 4 wheeler adventures, caves and bluehole trips, more cooking, tons of eating and eating some more, maybe a shopping trip, sleeping in, card games, and manheim steamroller gets busted out for early christmas listening.

christmas is spent with my family in deland. truly my favorite memories in life are christmas with my family. 6 siblings, now spouses and grandkids running around everywhere, and my parents holding down the fort…its the best time. The Carpenters, Bing Crosby, The Chipmunks and The Beach Boys all serenade us with christmas tunes, we make bon bons and spend a day putting together a christmas eve buffet, the younger ones open a present on xmas eve, we stuff stockings and make killer apple cider, read the christmas story in the bible on christmas morning, eat apple and rasberry turnovers with orange juice, open presents, then spend the rest of the day going thru lots of stocking candy, putting things together, listening to music, taking naps, and cooking christmas dinner. My dad usually writes us all a special letter that makes us cry, and its truly a day that I look forward to every year. Things have changed since we’ve become older, and all of us brothers and sisters arent all together on the big day anymore but we atleast get to see eachother and enjoy one another.

As i’m a parent now, youd think I have all this together, right? all the traditions I want josiah and darby to have…the moments I want to create and spend with my honey, but every year I struggle and I feel I fall so short of truly making these holidays memorable for my little family.

Plus, somehow every christmas, we tend to be going through some insane financial crisis…figures:)

So this year i’m really really trying to make it count. I busted out the bins today and plan to start decorating the house. Pandora christmas station and the Christmas Music station on the TV have been playing all day. I’ve already bought lots of cans of pumpkin and some gingerbread mixes, and am putting together an adult christmas party. I feel good about all of this, but also a little sad…dont you wish that you could just let your parents do Christmas for you for the rest of your life? But we grow up. We become adults and have our own families. I’m so thankful for the traditions and memories I have from growing up…so thankful for mom and dad instilling in me the importance of family time around the holidays…I have great examples set before me to make the holidays with my OWN family something super special.

What are some of your christmas traditions? comment…i love hearing what other families do for such a special time of the year.


5 responses

  1. Dawn

    Bob and I decided on one last year that we will do every year…We are not a big pizza ordering kind of family but the weekend after Thanksgiving we will go get a tree, order pizza, decorate the tree while watching Elf and drinking hot chocolate no matter how hot it is outside! I can’t wait to do it this year for the first time in our HOME! 🙂 (ps. we are buying only shatterproof ornaments this year :))

    November 18, 2010 at 4:59 PM

  2. Caroline Parker

    I LOVE that your Dad writes you guys a letter…I am so having Joel do that. What a true treasure and gift to have…and man I sound cheesey!

    One tradition that The Parkers do…and I love Christmas Eve they always eat Chinese take-out since the family, especially Richard, are involved with the service. It’s all food you won’t eat on Thanksgiving or Christmas, and no-one has to cook!

    I also really enjoy attending some sort of lighting of the tree ceremony in any town. There is usually great people watching, the kids love it, and there is usually good carnival type food:) Tallahassee’s is one of my current faves.

    November 18, 2010 at 7:04 PM

  3. Sarah

    My kids get coordinating pajamas on Christmas Eve (so pictures look cute the next morning). We leave out cookies, milk, and carrots for reindeer. Oh and read the Christmas story.
    We always stay home for Christmas Eve and Day. I want my kids to have memories from their childhood home(s).
    We have a birthday party for Jesus. Kids help make the cake. Of course that comes after present opening!
    Lastly, I buy my kids a photo ornament every year. I’ll give them their collection as a wedding present!

    November 18, 2010 at 8:47 PM

  4. Bek, don’t beat yourself up just yet. Josiah isn’t to a point yet where he has any expectations or where he’ll remember anything that happens. However, he will get to that point and that’s when you have to decide to really be intentional about things (which it sounds like you are already doing). I really just figured that out last year… I totally agree about wanting your parents to do Christmas forever…I have totally thought that before. It would be nice. 🙂 However, I’m also excited about the UNIQUE traditions that I can start and get my kids excited about every year. Harper’s already totally STOKED on Christmas (thanks alot, Wal-Mart), so the pressure’s on. 🙂 I feel like I need to put the laptop down and go make a list or something now. haha

    November 18, 2010 at 9:03 PM

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