My favorite memories are when the whole family is helping to decorate the tree and every light is twinkling and all the ornaments are placed just so by the kids. I am always the one to hand out the ornaments. I rarely get to put more than just the lights up. But, that is okay because most of the ornaments on my tree are ones that were given as gifts or ones that my kids made for me. Each year I get to see them again and reminisce about years past. Some of my favorites are from when the kids were little and they have either a hand print or a picture to go with them. I hand the ornaments off to the child that made it and we both get to smile about how long ago that was and how little they used to be. Each year their hands get bigger, but each year it is the same story.
Another favorite tradition my family has is getting a tree that will be planted in the yard after Christmas. Since we bought our house a few years ago this is what we have been doing. We don’t get large trees and my kids like to call them our Christmas Bushes, but the tradition stands. Not all the trees have made it; we do have pretty brutal winters and getting the tree into the frozen ground has been difficult some years. But, all year long, the trees that made it, are a beautiful site out the front window or sitting on the back porch. It is amazing to see how much the trees have grown throughout the years. A tradition I will be starting this year, one I wish I had thought of years ago, is a Christmas Eve gift. The children have bugged me for years to open just one gift on the night before Christmas and I have never given in. That is until this year. I have prepared a gift for each of them. Even though they are both teenagers, I have put a box together for each of them that includes a pair of pajamas, a mug, some hot cocoa, a Christmas movie that I know each of them enjoys, and midnight snack. I will let them open this gift on Christmas Eve and we can spend the evening in our pjs watching a couple of movies and having hot cocoa. Hopefully this takes off and the kids love it. I really want to be able to do this with the future grandchildren one day too!