Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Christmas Memories and Traditions

Erica here: I thought it might be fun for us CC&C girls to share some of our Christmas memories and traditions, and we'd love to hear some of yours, too! And because it's Christmas, we're giving away a fun little holiday gift.

Anne's Family Tradition:

Anne and family at the Christmas tree farm.


Our family has gone to Christmas Tree farms for 28 years to cut a fresh tree. It's morphed over the years into a "traditional argument" akin to the family funk that seems to happen when you try to take family pictures. Someone is always disagreeable. Someone is late. Someone is too happy. Someone has too many expectations. Someone wants a fake tree but always gets out-voted in the family vote for a real tree. The tree is too tall, too short, too bare, too prickly, too fat, you get it. But finally, we all laugh, come together in harmonious agreement and bring the tree home. That's when we pray Dad gets it in the tree stand without having melt down over stuffing it into the tree stand, muttering like the father from A Christmas Story and his broken furnace. We turn on Christmas music, don our Santa hats and decorate while Dad takes pics and begs to turn the Notre Dame game back on.

Love family shenanigans.
Jaime's Christmas memory:

Jaime's Willow Tree nativity

I remember setting up our manger scene. It was my most looked forward to event of the Christmas decorating season. My mom's manger scene was handmade by friend with beanie people :) with felt faces. Each character were old friends, and through that, Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the angels all became old friends. A familiar story but one I cherished. Now I look forward to setting up my manger scene, one my mother-in-law gave me my first year married, and my kids get excited to set up and play with theirs. It's a familiar, warm feeling to greet old friends, and be constantly reminded of the birth of my Savior!

A kid-friendly nativity!

Gabrielle Meyer's family tradition:

Gabe's family trimming the tree.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is Christmas Tree hunting. We always go the weekend after Thanksgiving and we always have my parents and Dave's mother with us. It's a fun time for our children for many reasons, but especially because they have the undivided attention of their grandparents. 

Some years it's freezing, some years it's mild. Some years there is snow on the ground, and some years we trudge through stiff grass. But always, there are smiles on our ruddy faces and anticipation in our hearts for all the fun we'll have decorating and setting gifts under those branches.

After we select the perfect trees (three of them, one for each house), we also help decorate them. At my parents' home, I have three siblings and their spouses, plus all twelve nieces and nephews. My parents have purchased a Christmas ornament for each of us every single year. That's a total of twenty-two NEW ornaments this year alone! The oldest is a bulb from my parents' first Christmas Tree in 1974. Needless to say, the tree is LOADED with ornaments. All of us gather together for this event. My parents separate the ornaments according to family when they take them down, so the boxes are neatly organized and each person is responsible to hang their own ornaments. Afterward, we eat soup and sit around visiting.

My in-laws like to put up their tree closer to Christmas, so we usually go out there the following weekend. It's a much quieter event, since our children are the only grandchildren at this point, and one of Dave's brothers lives too far away to join us. But it's fun to help decorate my husband's family tree and see all the ornaments from his childhood, which, after twenty years feels like mine, as well. Historically, my in-laws' tree has also been much bigger, since they have a nineteen-foot ceiling in their living room. It's an impressive sight.

The last, but certainly not least, is our family tree. We always decorate it with just our children and have a quiet evening at home. Ours is the smallest of the trees, but at nine feet high, it's not that small! It's fun to pull out all the ornaments and reminisce about where we bought them, or what they mean to us. Our children always ask us the same questions, year after year, and we tell them the same stories. I'll share a bit more about our Christmas ornament collection in a future post, because it deserves one all its own. :) 

Such a lovely Christmas tree!
Erica's Christmas Tradition:


In our family, we have three hard and fast Christmas traditions.
1. We must watch SCROOGE sometime during the month of December to get firmly into the Christmas spirit. It must be the 1950's version starring Alastair Sim.

2. We must attend the Christmas Eve service at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church. This is my favorite service of the year with lots of singing and the Christmas story and candlelight.


3. On Christmas morning the Vetsch family eats Christmas waffles for breakfast before opening our gifts. This tradition started many years ago when my husband gave me a waffle iron for Christmas. (It's okay, I asked for one!)









Share with us one of your Christmas traditions or memories, and don't forget to enter the drawing for a sweet treat from us to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

16 comments:

  1. I started collecting the Fontinini nativity many years ago. Each year my family would buy me another piece. I liked it because baby Jesus could be removed. My son who was quite small at the time asked me where baby Jesus was. (I always hid him) I told him baby Jesus would appear in the manger on Christmas morning because that was his birthday. That first year he came running down the stairs and before he even looked to see what Santa had brought he went to the manger to look for Jesus.
    He got married this past July and this is his first Christmas to have the set to start his own family traditions. I thought he should have it and they are going to add a piece to it each year. And to keep our tradition going, he and his bride have hidden baby Jesus also.

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    1. I love this! I would love to have a Fontinini set someday.

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  2. I grew up carrying on my grandparents' Swedish tradition of a 4 course smorgasbord on Christmas Eve. We started mid-afternoon with coffee and cookies, then moved on to an appetizer course, then the main dish course, and then dessert (a creamy rice dessert with almonds and hot cherry sauce). The dessert had one whole almond and whoever got the whole almond got a prize, which was typically a tree ornament. I still carry on part of this tradition - everything except the main course! My siblings and I decided that the appetizer course was the best and we weren't overly crazy about some of the Swedish foods in the main course, so we dropped that course.

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    1. That sounds amazing! I would love the recipe for the rice dessert. It sounds like something my family would love.

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  3. My tradition is a little newer. I always put up the small, white Hummel nativity my brother brought back from Germany the year we were married. The new tradtion started a few years ago when cleaning out my parents home after they passed. I found the stable from their nativity set, but after 70 years of marriage, the figures were lost or broken. I put my tiny figurines in the cavernous stable. And probably in a cleaning frenzy some items got added. The scene has grown and my Young One says she really loves this as it is so "me" You can see a picture of the scene on my blog if you visit http://cjkennedyink.blogspot.com/2015/12/wordless-wednesday.html

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    1. I love your nativity set. It is VERY you! LOL I think I like the nesting farm animals the best.

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  4. I love that Little People nativity, Jaime!
    Our Christmas traditions always include my husband taking me out to breakfast sometime during the season. We seem to find time to go out to lunch or dinner at other times, but this is the only time of year we manage to do breakfast.
    Thanks for offering this prize!
    Happy Christmas,
    Jen

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    1. That's a sweet and romantic tradition!

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  5. We have gone to my mother-in-laws house for a Christmas breakfast all 23 years of our marriage. Packing up four kids on Christmas morning has never been my favorite thing to do, but they loved it. This may be the year that we have to change that tradition, her health is failing. If we shift to our house, it's definitely going to be "brunch". . . . . . . zzzzzzzzzzz . . . . a little longer.

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    1. How nice of you to make your MIL and kids so happy on Christmas morning! And brunch sounds like a good, new tradition. Maybe you can have waffles. :D

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  6. Ladies, thank you for sharing your Christmas traditions. I loved the photos! I enjoy attending a Candle Light Christmas Eve Service and watching the Hallmark movie channel.

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    1. I am enjoying watching ION television's Christmas movies. Happy endings abound! :D

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  7. One of my favorite things we do is take a night and drive around looking for beautiful outdoor decorations. Playing Christmas music and drinking something hot!

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    1. We drive around a bit after the Christmas Eve service to look at the lights. I love it! :)

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    2. We drive around a bit after the Christmas Eve service to look at the lights. I love it! :)

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  8. One of my favorite things we do is take a night and drive around looking for beautiful outdoor decorations. Playing Christmas music and drinking something hot!

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