Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Traditions......



I really do love this time of year. I love watching the magic in our kids eyes as they enjoy the activities that we do each year. I love watching Chloee play with the Nativity set. This year Rhett has taken to playing with it as well. It melts my heart to watch them sit on the floor and listen to Chloee explain every piece to him. He sits there so intent, hanging on her every word. Generally with a Wise-man in one hand and a sheep in the other.

This year we have found a website that my kids and I both love to go to. It's called Welcome to the North Pole. Santa himself even answers your questions!! Click here to go there. My kids visit at least once a day and read the forum. It's been so fun to have them talk about how Santa is their friend.

I love watching Christmas movies that I enjoyed as a kid, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Garfield Christmas special, Christmas Story, Rudolph, Frosty, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

I love the excitement as I watch our kids whoop and holler at the first snow of the season. It's all they can do to contain themselves as they run out and do snow angels.

We have many traditions that we do this time of year. The kids each get a new ornament to hang on the tree. Some years we buy them some years we make them. It just depends. This year they made snowflakes to hang.

Then we make our gingerbread houses. The kids always look forward to it, and my sister and I get to be kids again too.

The week of Christmas we go out and look at Christmas lights. We have our favorite houses that we look at each year.

On Christmas Eve my mom and sister come over and we pig out on all sorts of meats, cheeses, crackers and cheese balls, and my favorite, Ham rolls with cream cheese wrapped around a sweet pickle. My mom buys a Honey Baked Ham for us. I love Honey Baked Ham. We also make cookies to leave out for Santa.

Then on Christmas morning my mom and sister come over again, as well as Andy's mom, his brother, his uncle, and his grandpa. We cook a big breakfast....(Andy's favorite thing to do) and we just get to be together as a family. Christmas night we play every game you can imagine, and Kristie,(My sister) and I kick everyone's butt at the Disney Scene It games.

We don't do anything fancy, it's not a big show of how everything has to be perfect for dinner, and the house has to be immaculate. That's not who we are. Christmas is a time for food to be laid out in every crevice of the house and for us to stuff ourselves so much that we don't have to eat again until New Year's when we do it all again.

Everyone gets to be lazy and do absoutley nothing. The kids get to play, and graze all day on snacks. I don't have to worry about cooking, and trying to scarf my food down before I make the kids plates so I have a warm meal.

This year we have added a few things in our traditions as a way to give back. I think this year has been our very best holiday season yet. I love that we have been able to do some things, even if they were small, to make someone else have a happy holiday season.

We have learned that you don't have to have a big pocket book, (or one at all for that matter), to share in the joys of giving and Christmas Spirit.

Now it's your turn, what are some of your holiday traditions? What are some of your favorite holiday recipes?

We would love to hear from you. We are always looking for great ideas on new things to do with the family.

May you and yours have the very best Holiday Season ever this year.

As I type this the doorbell rings, and there is a gift for our family left on the front porch. It says to The Bird Family from Santa's Elves. I know that we have said it before, but we are truly blessed to have people who care about us. I can't think of a better life for us. Yes we have trials, and yes we have had some bad blows. But as long as we have each other, we can make it through anything.

All Our Love,
The Bird Flock

11 comments:

jhdiddle said...

I love to read about these wonderful traditions you have.

We have some from old (as I was growing up) and some we've created just as a family now that we have our own kids.

One of my favorites "of old" is that my grandpa used to read "twas the night before christmas" with all four grandchildren crowded around him on Christmas eve (that side of the family always got together on the "eve"), When my grandfather passed away (nearly 20 years ago now), my uncle took over the tradition that his dad had done so many years.

Another "of old" tradition that my parents did was they had a special ornament from when they were dating, which every year was the FIRST to go on the tree in a prominent spot. My mom's name was on one small bulb, with my dad's name on the other, they each held it together and hung it. No other ornaments were allowed on the tree until that had been done. They still do it every year and this ornament is from 1968. Well..I loved this tradition so much, that when my hubby and I were still dating and his mom gave us an ornament with a picture of us in it, we made this the "special ornament, from our first Christmas together. And now we make it the first on the tree, in a prominent spot, hung together. I showed it to our daughter, Sorsha this year (she's 3.5 years old)...she didn't recognize that the people in the picture were mommy and daddy :( I didn't think we had changed in appearance that much, but apparently we have.

One of my favorite "new" traditions is cooking Christmas dinner at our house for us, my parents and my husband' parents all together. I love that we can all do this together and not have to go to one house one night and another house the next night or trade-off etc. We still go other places to get together with extended family, but as my husband is an only child and my one sibling lives across the country, its nice that we make a nice family gathering each year.

Colleen said...

My sisters and I used to give each other presents on Christmas Eve when we were growing up. Each of us only had a little bit of money, but we'd buy something special that we thought each other would like. We'd get in our pajamas after Christmas eve mass, and gather around to exchange. I used to love doing that as a young kid!

~Colleen :)

Anonymous said...

Your families Christmas sounds like such a blast! We don't have many traditions yet, as this is our first Christmas with a LO. (And just think, next year, we'll have two!!)

T.

Carla said...

I love your post Pam! Our best Christmas tradition is that we have a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas morning. The night before we make a cake and decorate it--brown cake (chocolate) for our sins, white frosting for His grace, red icing for His blood He shed for us, and green icing around for His everlasting love (evergreen). We also use the circle cake pan because it is like His love, no beginning and no end. We put candles in it and sing happy birthday to Jesus--the kids love it and it reminds them of why we receive presents as we are opening them.

This year we started something to attach to that--Jesus' present. We made a stocking for Him out of construction paper and decorated it--and each time someone in our family does something very kind and loving for someone else--like above and beyond the norm--we write it down and place it in His stocking. On Christmas day we will pull them out and read each of them after we have the cake and present them as our gift to Him....with the thinking that we show God's love to others by putting them ahead of ourselves and showing them His love.

Merry Christmas Pam!

And what was on your doorstep? My daughter got an anonymous gift today too! Christmas spirit in the air!!!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Bird family!!!!!
You are very Blessed!!
Jenn and Brook

bwilltrout said...

This is something we are doing this year.
www.letssaythanks.com

It is to say thank you to our service men and women.

mom26kids said...

pam, I hope your kids are feeling better.
Every year for christmas we do a service project as a family we spend christmas morning with the people in a local care center or we sponser a family this year we made snack sacks for the food bank these are sacks with a juice, granola bar fruit snack that they give to the kids. My kids loved decorating the bags. On christmas eve the kids get P.J and we read christmas stories and remember the true meaning of christmas. ON christmas day we visit family I love seeing my grandparents and mom I will miss having my dad this year. He died last Dec. I tried a new recipe this year called pepermint melt aways. they are a cookie some of my familyliked them and some didn't. merry christmas
angie and family

Mrs Wibbs said...

there is also this website which is pretty cool: http://www.northpole.com
(maybe you know it already?) - and on the website there is also a link to the 'kid's countdown to christmas', and to 'track santa' (direct link is: http://www.noradsanta.org/en/countdown.html - hope it works!!)
both well worth checking out!

Hope your Christmas time is blessed, peaceful and full of hope.
love ya lady :o)
xoxox

My Three Sons said...

We have some traditions as well. We all decorate our tree together and like you, every year when we go to Branson, I have the boys all pick out a new ornament for the tree. We will start making breads and cookies this weekend when they come back home from there dad's. My only wish this year is for my kids to have a happy X-mas and Carson getting better fast.

Thanks for your continued support. I really appreiciate it.

Your the best Pam.

cori said...

Every Christmas, nothing's really certain, except that Dad will somehow, *somehow* get leave, and fly home and we'll be a proper family with a mum, dad and my brother and I for a few days, before he goes back to work.
Can you please tell your kids that it's *so* important to have your parents with you for Christmas?

the RaMbLeR said...

Well, every year we always cook the full meal at our house. Turkey, Ham, secret recipe dressing (passed to me from hubby's side), sweet potato dish, etc. Hubby bakes bread from scratch, pies, cake, cinnamon rolls, fudge, divinity.

On Christmas eve we also get new pajamas for everyone. Crank up the Christmas music and start cooking what we can.

We eat all day too!

This year we will do all this and then my family will be here on Sat so we can make ourselves sick eating more. lol