Today's post is about "Other traditions". I am definitely having a writer's brain cramp on this one as I have already written about many Christmas traditions. So I decided I would make a list and check it "two or three" times.
1. Children's Chocolate-filled Advent calendars- every year
2. Decorate inside, nativity, tree, German and Swedish wooden decorations, Christmas village, etc. etc. etc.
3. Outside lights (minimal)
4. Jamie, our daughter decorates the tree, and we do the rest.
5. We open gifts on Christmas Eve, Euro style. A little comment about this one...When my husband and I first got married, he was from a Christmas morning family and me a Christmas Eve family. We decided to trade each year. We did each once or twice, maybe, and then the kids came along. Then the problems for Christmas morning started. When we did the morning presents, the kids were up SOOOO early, my husband couldn't stand the early morning rushing around. He liked to relax and sleep a little longer. The kids would have nothing of that. So from then on we were a 100% Christmas Eve family and so it has remained till this day.
6. On Christmas Eve we have a great dinner of German Rouladen, red cabbage, rolls, salads, mashed potatoes and gravy and so on. After we tidy up a bit, we have a little program with the Christmas story which the grandkids act out. They have their little costumes, etc every year. Its cute. Last year the Baby Jesus was Grayson, but this year he may have passed his prime as the starring role. We will see how it goes.
7. After the nativity, the wildness begins and the kids go crazy opening their gifts. Jamie and Jake also have to run up to his parents home with is about 10-15 minutes away. They have their family party on Christmas Eve, also. So it's a little problem, but we work it out as best we can.
8. As a child the custom was that I could stay up till midnight on Christmas Eve. And that at that time the animals could talk. That is what my dad would say and I think he was a pretty good ventriloquist as my cat or dog began to talk a bit. That was always kind of funny!
9. My dad would always take me sledding before the dinner and present opening time.
10. We like to drive to see the pretty decorations-brightly lit houses and yards. In Alpine, on Christmas Eve, all the streets are lined with luminaries. So pretty to see.
11. There is a live nativity each year in Alpine, also. I have gone a few times, but December is always so cold and you take a hayride to the location which can get cold, also. But they have camels and sheep and cows, and sheep. It is really cool.
12. On Christmas Day my mom cooks Sauerbraten each year and so we have another feast at my parents home.
13. Growing up Christmas cookies were a big part, as was all the holiday baking. That not so much anymore. Too much food! Too much weight to lose...
Here are some photos of Christmas PAST: