As I mentioned before, I LOVE the holidays. The things I love the most are the traditions I have brought from my family, my husband has brought from his and we have created as a family. So, below you will find my faves. The things I love the most about the holidays. So, tell me about your holiday traditions in the comments below!
One of my all time favourtie Christmas memories was watching Miracle on 34th Street with my Dad. Usually my sisters and my mom weren’t interested so it was something we did together. This movie continues to give me the warm and fuzzies and now that I have it on DVD I am going to watch it with my 8 year old. Natalie Wood does such an amazing job as Suzie discovering the meaning and magic of Christmas.
and Frosty the Snowman, as well as a Bonus Holiday CD. If you are like me and LOVE these classic shows enter our ONE-WEEK-ONLY CONTEST to win your copy in time for the holidays! Remeber, you must be an urbanmoms.ca member to win!
The list would not be complete without the ultimate green miser, The Grinch! I loved both the book and the TV movie of the How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There is just something so magical about his heart growing 3 sizes that day and little Cindy Loo Who!
Christmas Eve – One thing I look forward to every year is my family’s Christmas Eve tradition. This has been going on as long as I can remember and was born in the 1960’s or 1970’s by my parents. Every Christmas Eve we have a family fondue feast! We have both a scrumptious cheese fondue found by my sis at a restaurant in Chamonix, France (remember my LOVE of cheese!) and an oil based meat fondue. We serve the cheese fondue with green and red pepper and apple as well as bread and serve both beef and chicken for the meat lovers. We also make this wonderful sauce to put over the meat and on rice called Kabuki Sauce. No matter how big or how small the group we always manage to fit in our fondue dinner!
The wonderful thing about this tradition is that fondue is not a quick meal. We spend a lot of time together in the kitchen preparing and then a few hours sitting around cooking, munching, and talking. Even the kids get involved! My 8 year old son loves both types of fondue and my daugher (who is a very picky eater) can sit and chat while nibbling on the bread. My mouth is watering just looking at the picture!
Post Christmas Dinner – We often spend part of the holidays with my husband’s family up at their farm near Ontario ski country (I know, I know, it ain’t the Rockies but it’s all we got!). Usually it is post-Christmas and no one wants to see another turkey for at least a few months so my sister-in-law wisely invented Christmas Lasagna! Thanks to President’s Choice or another easy to prepare option and after a day of skiing our new holiday tradition is a welcome change. With homemade garlic bread and ceasar salad our tummies are full and everyone’s happy.
Community Christmas Dinner – Sometimes we are not up north at either of our families for Christmas Day which means we can host Christmas dinner at our house. That means turkey and all the trimmings (with a lot of help from my mom because, as many of you know, I am no kitchen diva) and it also means opening up our home. For years we have had friends join us for Christmas dinner. We have friends whose families are overseas or friends who for one reason or another are on their own. We also have couple friends where one of them does not celebrate Christmas so we get the pleasure of integrating many different cultures and traditions into our Christmas. Nothing like a homemade latke to go with my stuffing or a Finnish Prune Rice Pudding with my Christmas Cake! Also, my sister is a vegetarian so we incorporate some wonderful vegetarian dishes into our traditional holiday fare.
Christmas morning is the best! A little too early but the energy and excitement is enough to get us up and moving. The rule in our house is that no one can go and see what Santa brought until everyone is ready. After the heat is turned up, the coffee is put on to brew, and we have all taken a trip to the bathroom the kids close their eyes, we get out the camera, and we lead them to their stockings. Then 1, 2, 3 open your eyes and see what surprises are waiting! This is so much fun and extends the excitement just a little bit longer.
One very important tradition we have which I have forced onto my husband’s family is the take turns and appreciate approach to present opening. The kids get to be elves and then we open gifts one at a time by age. The Elves choose a gift for the appropriate person and we all watch as they open their gift. This means that everyone gets to appreciate the moment, share their joy, and say thank you. We acknowledge each gift and it is not just a free for all of greediness!
Christmas Eve can be a late night only to wake very early on Christmas morning. To avoid the post-present blahs my family has started the tradition of the Christmas Day skate, ski, or sled. Depending on where we are (in the city or up north) we will open presents and have a light breakfast and then head off the the rink or slopes or toboggan hill. This is a great distraction for the kids and a great way to fill the day. It also means overtired little ones are out from under foot when Christmas dinner preparations are going on.
I know there are tons more but these are my faves. Please share yours in the commments below!