Monday, December 24, 2007

Traditions



I love to decorate for Christmas. But for me, it cannot start until the day after Thanksgiving. Nothing Christmas comes out before Thanksgiving. I had to make an exception this year so Noah could learn his Christmas music for the program at church.

Decorating for Christmas 2006


Decorating begins with going out to chop our tree. Then we come home and begin to get it ready to decorate. A fresh cut is made and then it is unbound and left to drink a bucket of water. The last few years, Noah has enjoyed the job of cutting the cords and letting the tree spring back to it's beautiful shape. Then it was decorated in stages over several days. In another time that would have driven me crazy, but this year it was quite relaxing. The night we do decorate the tree, we enjoy popcorn and hot cocoa.



December 2006
December 2007



Christmas 2004


Each year a new, special ornament is unwrapped for each child. Most of the time the ornament is something that they were really interested in that year. Noah has had an airplane, a train and a few cars. Last year Bronwen was in love with dogs so hers was a little glass dog in a stocking. This year the theme was snowmen. Noah has a soldier, Bronwen a Santa and Annabelle a baby snowman.




New Christmas ornament 2007




Christmas 2005

At some point we enjoy creating in the kitchen. This year even Daddy joined us making chocolate covered ritz cracker and peanut butter cookies. (Does anyone know a better name for these?)

Sending Christmas cards to family and friends has become a very dear tradition to me. My list is between 80 - 100 families, precious friends and relatives scattered from California to Massachusetts. Sadly, for some of them this is the only time during the year that they hear from me. But 2007 was the year for self improvement and I've done a better job of staying connected. I think. Maybe you should ask some of my friends and family.



Dad and Grandma - Christmas 2005

Christmas with my Dad's family used to be on Christmas Eve, but since all the grand kids are married and having their own families, we've moved it up a week. About five years ago, my grandparents moved out of their home and into an apartment so we've been gathering at their hall. But this year was a little bittersweet because they are getting ready to move in with my parents (that's the sweet part) but it was the last year they hosted the Mester family at their own place (that's the sad part.) Grandpa is 91 and Grandma is 86 and they are looking forward to the extra help from Mom and Dad. So when they come back from Christmas with my Aunt and Uncle in the South, they will be coming to their new home.

Most of the Mesters - Christmas 2007


Martin family Christmas Eve - 2005

Christmas Eve is now spent playing games and enjoying family at Josh's parents' home. A special Bingo game has been the family's traditional fun since Josh was in middle school I think. But I've heard a rumor that they will be departing from that one this year and beginning a new one. How mysterious! Grandma and Grandpa Martin always spoil us!


The kids always get to open one thing from under our tree . . . one that has been chosen (and pre-washed by Mommy) a new pair of pajamas for extra cozy sleep on Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve 2006


When I was a girl, Christmas morning we opened our presents in the morning and then went to my Mom's Mom for the Palicki family Christmas. Seventeen years ago, Grandma went home and several of the kids being grown and starting their own families, the Palicki Christmas was moved to anytime we could squeeze it in before, or just after Christmas. We usually meet at some one's home and have a white elephant gift exchange. This year it was going to be hosted by my cousin and then she found out that she is expecting a baby, so everyone graciously agreed to meet at restaurant so she would not have the stress of such a large gathering. I just got back a couple of hours ago, but forgot my camera, so I'll have to borrow some pictures from my sister. These family members are so close it is always a special time spent with them.






Christmas 2004 at Grandma and Papa's


In years past we've had a big Christmas day brunch at my parent's home, then relaxing in each other's company we would talk, play games and bestow our gifts upon each other. This year we reversed the order of events and made additions, hoping to create new traditions. After a perfectly wonderful afternoon and delicious dinner, we gathered for the entertainment. Everyone (almost) brought something they had prepared. One of my neices quoted her favorite poem and both neices played a carol on the piano. My dad, sister and her husband each had something charming to read to us ( "A Cajun Night Before Christmas," "Rindercella" and "I yust go nuts and Christmas" respectively.) Noah and Bronwen recited the Pledge of Allegiance (because I forgot to have them prepare something more appropriate.) Bronwen also sang Happy Birthday Jesus. It was so wonderful, the presents were almost an afterthought.



Ghosts of Christmases past

After we take the tree down each year, we cut the bottom of the trunk off and display it the next year with other tree trunks of Christmases past. They each have the date burned into the bottom. It's kind of nice to see them all bunched together, our miniature memory forest.



These are some of our Christmas traditions. Leave me a comment with your family's favorite tradition!


Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home! ~Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

MERRY Christmas Everyone!

2 comments:

Angel said...

Sorry I missed out being with you guys last weekend! I bet you all had an awesome Christmas...especially with Jayme home!!

love ya!!!

Jayme said...

Hey, somehow I missed this long, wonderful blog! I really like all of its components...great job! I'm still playing catch up. Do you still want pics from the Palicki Christmas?