Friday, December 24, 2010

Memory Lane Friday - Holiday Traditions

This week's Memory Lane Friday topic is "Holiday Traditions." Once again, here's another "long" post from me.

When my siblings and I were young, we basically did the same thing each Christmas.

First, around Thanksgiving, my mom would get the big tree up and decorated. Also, my mom always had these great stockings for us. She'd gotten this brass towel hanger, and that's what she'd place near the fireplace with our stockings hanging from it.

When Christmas Eve finally arrived, it would be chaotic, but in a fun way! 

My mom and grandmother would usually be in the kitchen, preparing our Christmas Eve meal.

After the day's first Mass, we'd head home and have our big meal. All of us kids would rush through, hardly being able to contain ourselves because it was Christmas Eve.

We usually unwrapped presents after dinner - the presents from family and friends, anyway. But we had to wait until my mom and grandmother cleaned the kitchen first. They'd usually enlist me to help, as I was the oldest, but they found it was quicker if they just did it themselves.

Then we'd FINALLY open presents. My dad would throw the wrapping paper into the fireplace, making the fire jump up high. My mom disliked this practice because it would create so much soot in and around the fireplace and mantle. She always tried to get him to stop but her pleas went in one ear and out the other.

The next morning was when we kids would open up our presents from "Santa Claus." It was a blast! We'd spend most of the day in our pajamas, with our presents. By the way, I got "The Black Stallion" book one year, and spent most of the day reading.

Here's my mom's tree. And Liv's posing in front of it, obviously.

Thanksgiving weekend, 2010, Urbandale, IA

Anyway, Andrew, Livie and I spent Livie's first Christmas (2006) in Alamogordo, NM.  She was only 10-months old at the time.

Andrew and I wanted it to be special, so we decorated the house and the tree.

I'd also picked up some special "items" during one of our trips to Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso, TX, while visiting my grandparents:

The plates are for Santa's cookies and reindeer treats, and the glass is for milk.

I figured it would be fun to start a tradition of using these plates and the glass so Liv could use them to leave the treats out on Christmas Eve.

For Livie's first Christmas, I'd made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies  for "Santa." I didn't have any carrots for the reindeer, so we used pears. And the glass? It was filled with egg nog (non-alcoholic).

I'm sure Liv didn't get what was going on this particular Christmas. But I wanted the photo op so I'd have a photo of the event for something in the future - and I'm glad I have it for this post.

She was curious about what all those goodies were, though. I think she just wanted to play with the stuff. 

After putting Livie down for the night, Andrew and I began putting all the presents under the tree. And, of course, as Santa's Helpers, we ate the cookies and drank the egg nog, with "Santa's" permission, of course.  ;)
The next morning, Livie was overwhelmed with presents and fun:
She'd gotten a musical drum and maracas from Santa, and a rocking horse (from Uncle Joe and Tia Pia), among other things.

She loved the rocking horse, by the way. My brother, Joe, thought it would be a good gift, as a nod to my equestrian days. I loved the thought he and Pia put into the gift!

Another tradition we've been doing is tracking Santa's travel on Christmas Eve. We go to NORAD's Santa Tracking website on Christmas Eve, so we know where he's been and where he's headed next. That way, when he gets close enough (usually St. Louis), Livie will know it's time to go to sleep. 

So much fun!

Please check back next week, when the theme is "New Year's."

Memory Lane Friday is hosted weekly by Two Bears Farm and the Three Cubs. Please click on the "Memory Lane Fridays" button below to read her Memory Lane Friday post, as well other bloggers' entries:

1 comment:

varunner said...

Great memories! I love love love your santa and reindeer treat plates! Too cute. Merry Christmas to you and your fam :-)

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