Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 1 "12 Days of Christmas"

It's late, I almost didn't post. I thought to myself, "come on, it's the first day of the 12 days of Christmas. Yikes! I am going to miss day 1?" I couldn't do it. So now it's 11pm Mark and Wyatt are both sleeping and I am blogging. WOW! What has this come too!??!!?

Before I get was fun! My mom and sister came up to visit. Mom usually comes on Tuesday but since we are visiting them on Wednesday they decided to come up and do a little shopping here! :) It's always a great time hanging out with sista and mom.

Ok,  now onto the reason for todays tonight's post:
Day 1: Christmas Traditions

This is kinda tough. I mean we have the same schedule every year but as far as special traditions we have some pretty special ones too! Growing up Thanksgiving Eve we always spent the night at my Aunt and Uncles house. (This year will be the 1st year to not spend the night. So sad....) There are only 7 of us total, my cousins. My mom is the oldest of 3 and one of her brothers had 3 children and the other has a step-son. We always did fun activities that night. We hang out and eat dinner too! We are all getting together this year for dinner and hangout time...just no spend the night. :( Thanksgiving morning we rotate every year with my mom's side (with her siblings) to decide the home that we gather in. We eat breakfast together. Homemade biscuits and gravy. AMAZING!!! After breakfast growing up we would head to my dad's parents house. Since my g-pa passed away last year we have moved Thanksgiving dinner to my parent's home. Mark and I hang out with that side of the family for a while before loading up and heading back home. The drive is about 2 hours. We travel straight to his parent's house. His parent's host Thanksgiving dinner for both sides of his family together. There are so many people there and LOTS of food too! Everyone stays really late, like late enough to get the food back out and eat again. The ladies all create a shopping plan for BLACK Friday. I have participated in this event EVERY year since I met Mark. We are talking 3am's so fun!!! I think I mentioned before one year (before my time) they shopped for 24 hours!!! YIKES! Mark and I usually set out Christmas up on Friday too. This year we have decided to wait until Saturday for this. I love doing it and I want decorating for Wyatt's first Christmas to be fun. While shopping Mark and his dad hang the outside lights on their house and ours. (they have to do something to work off that turkey)  Setting up Christmas somehow seems to always end with us being so stressed. Not this year, things are different, we are not stressing...we are enjoying each other. Saturday is set aside for setting up Christmas. We have planned to go to a movie on Friday night with Mark's brother's family. A fun NEW tradition!
Growing up we got to pick a new Hallmark ornament for the tree every year. Funny how things did Mark! Ha! We used to set this tree up in our basement but we have decided to start setting this tree in our living room. A NEW TRADITION! It's a 9ft pre-lit tree we used as decoration at our wedding ceremony. Ahhh, I know cute huh?!?! I like my tree to all match and look perfect but I have decided after having a baby Christmas/Holidays are not about my OCD, I am really trying to make it a point not to stress.
This may make me a bit sad...I know we have opened a new chapter in our lives and this is all a part of God's plan but growing up we would take a whole day and set up Christmas too! Each one of us would get to put "our" ornaments on the tree. I would help my mom set up her Dickens Village. (which I still do) We would listen to Christmas music and be together. During the holiday season growing up we would usually paint a plate or complete some fun memorable craft. This is a tradition we are carrying on with Wyatt. :) We also have a "Christmas Dinner" at my parents house. This dinner is with a few families we grew up with. It's always so fun! We all really enjoying being together. I love traditions! Christmas Eve we always do with my mom's side of the family. We attend the Christmas Eve service at church (something we made a very important part of the night) and then go back to PARTY! Ha! We play a few fun games, open presents, and eat! Christmas Day we ALWAYS open presents at our own home then head to g-mas. My brother, sister, and I all slept in the same room together. We always opened our stockings really early together before mom and dad woke up. We would go get them to begin opening gifts. Mom would cook breakfast and her dad would come over to eat with us. We would then load up and go to g-mas!!! We would eat, open presents, play, and be with family the rest of the day!! What great memories we have!
Now as a married couple Mark and I switch every year. It's the only fair way we can do it. We try really hard to be with everyone. We have a 2 hour drive between families. This will be our 3rd Christmas as a married couple. This Christmas we will be with my family (mom's side) for a few days before Christmas (including Christmas Eve) we then drive home to our own house Christmas eve. We wake up Christmas morning at our house. Then this year we will travel to his side of the family. This year we will be celebrating at his Aunt and Uncle's house. (his mom's brother's house) Next year we will swap...crazy I know!
Mark and I have decided to complete the Advent by completing the reading and scripture throughout December this year. We plan to incorporate "elf on the Shelf" with Wyatt as he grows  too. Wyatt will also receive a "letter from Santa." (This was a St. John's Hospital event we participated in, it's very close to our hearts as our nephew is a graduate of the NICU at St.Johns) I know this is a long post but I want to have it to look back and read. Many people keep saying or asking me about this Christmas. Why I want/am doing all this...."Wyatt isn't even going to remember." Well, Mark and I will remember and we want to begin special traditions with our children.
WOW...what a post, it's now almost midnight...should I being Day 2??? HA!!!  


  1. I really enjoyed reading this! As far as why you are doing this now for Wyatt - he will look at the pictures some day and see that it all started with his first Christmas. We do that with our boys - they may not remember a tradition we do but they will see the progression in pictures through the years and it builds family memories from day one!


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