Wednesday, November 14, 2007

'Tis the Season

I know that everyone has their favorite holiday traditions. I have been looking forward to starting a family with Jon so that we could pass down some traditions and create our own.

My family always had one tradition - how we opened our presents on Christmas morning. Someone would play Santa and sort all of the presents into a little pile for each person. Then we would start from youngest to oldest and that person would open up all their presents and everyone else would watch. I used to think this was the WORST tradition in the world because after I would open up my presents (I was second in those days), I would have to wait to play with them because I was required to watch everyone else open. Now I actually appreciate this tradition because I love to see everyone else open their presents and enjoy what they received. Nothing gets lost in the shuffle and everyone can see the other person open up the present that they purchased for them.

But my favorite tradition isn't even one of mine. This tradition is in my husband's family. I'm not sure how long it has been going, but I think it is the best. They celebrate Christmas on Thanksgiving. I know it sounds a bit odd, but it works great.

Everyone tries their best to make it in for the whole day (whether it is actually on Thursday or Friday or Saturday) and we have a traditional Thanksgiving morning/lunch. The guys go out and play football until they are bloody and torn, while the women put the finishing touches on the beautiful Thanksgiving meal. We all eat at a huge table in the living room (last year, the kitchen table collapsed under the weight of the meal so now we eat in the living room). There are so many of us, usually 18-19 people at the table.

After the meal, the boys do the clean up work so it gets done quickly (Jon puts together a very efficient assembly line approach). Then we get together in the living room (without the table) for Christmas. We do a gift drawing in advance and keep it a secret until that day. I always see the younger brothers scrambling in a bedroom for some wrapping paper or sweet-talking a sister into wrapping their gift for them at the very last minute.

Then everyone opens their presents when Santa Mercy (Jon's youngest sister) brings them over to each person. We sing some Christmas carols and maybe Jon's sister Hannah will play something on the piano for us. And we enjoy chatting and playing with the new Christmas toys with Mercy.

For the past five years, this tradition has kick-started the holiday season for me. I love starting off the holidays this way. I know JD will enjoy this tradition as well. And as we add more cousins in the fold, the traditions will just continue to get richer each year.


Lynn Leaming said...

No matter what is done the best part of a tradition is just family being together. What a blessing you have on both sides.!! My family has never all been together for Christmas or Thanksgiving since I graduated from college (that is over 25 years)Since Steve only has 2 brothers and only one of them is married we will actually get to be with them for Thanksgiving this year, but that is the first time in our 18 year marriage.

Ouida said...

Yes, we are certainly looking forward to this again and can't hardly believe it is next week!

Heather said...

I was just thinking about how much I love this tradition as well...I can't wait!

Dara said...

We are trying the combo Thanksgiving and Christmas for the Eason side of the family this year! We shall see how it goes!

The one good thing about opening in order (the way we did it) is that it makes gift opening last for hours! Good for the adults... not quite as much fun for kids, but definitely memorable!