Christmas traditions

So far as a family we haven't had the chance to make any Christmas traditions, unless you count making a paper chain to count down the days so that we don't have to answer the question "how many more days until Christmas?" twelve times a day.  We normally travel to some other state for Christmas, which is why there are no traditions yet.

 This year we will be at my aunts house Christmas day, celebrating with my two sisters and their families, a handful of my aunts and their families and my Grandma. I am super excited to see all of them and eat some yummy homemade cooking! Nothing like your mom's family's food to make you remember Christmas growing up.

 One of my favorite Christmas traditions from when I was young was getting the Christmas tree. We'd normally convince my parents (with lots of whining and begging) to go get a tree the day after Thanksgiving, at least that's when we'd start the begging.  We'd go to a place where we could cut the tree down ourselves most of the time- sometimes that meant walking through the woods and my brother's climbing a tree, other times we did it more civilized and went to a tree farm, and occasionally we'd go to a place that already had them cut. Picking out a tree was never an easy task for us. There were 7 of us and we all had different opinions of the perfect tree. My idea was (and still is) the biggest, fullest tree you can find and fit in your house. you CAN NOT see the trunk if you can, it's no good, that officially makes it a Charlie Brown tree and WILL NOT be in my house. Unfortunately Lexi's second Christmas we discovered she is allergic (or at least was) to real trees and we haven't had one since. Our current fake tree makes me cry almost every year, i HATE fake trees, and it's an old hand me down tree. It's very naked.  When we finally picked the right tree, we'd go home and set it up. Then my parents always made us wait a day to let the tree "settle" before decorating it. Looking back now as a mom, I imagine they were just too tired to decorate the tree on the same day as picking it out. :)

Another thing we'd ALWAYS beg for was to open a present on Christmas eve. Sometimes our parents would cave and let us, but sometimes they wouldn't. Our Christmases growing up never included sitting around the LG lcd TV, or a TV of any sort. We'd wake up early, or sometimes all hours of the night, but weren't allowed to touch our stockings until 6am, and we could NOT touch any presents under the tree until everyone was awake. We weren't allowed to wake anyone up until 7 i think... and most Christmases my oldest sister and dad slept right up until that last moment that we attacked them.  Then we'd all sit around the tree, one person would hand out gifts, one present to one person at a time and we'd all watch (impatiently) as they opened their gift. There was no rushing things, no everyone jumping into the pile and ripping off the paper.  Sometimes it annoyed me, but now that is one tradition I like to keep going with my kids. It's nice to see the kids faces as they open their gift, and it's nice to have that moment last longer than 3 seconds. 

Then of course there was always the yummy food, whether we went to visit family, or had it at our house, I enjoyed my mom's home cooked everything. Cheese log, chocolates, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie.... mmmm, I'm drooling just thinking about it all.