Christmas Traditions

Christmas is less than week away now!  Can you believe it?!  Wow, they sure aren’t kidding when they say time goes by faster as you age.  As Christmas is coming up rather quickly, it made me think of the Christmas traditions that I grew up within my families.  I say families because I have the wonderful blessing of being a part of not just one, but TWO amazing families.  My parents are divorced and remarried when I was a baby, so I know no different.  Christmas was always really neat growing up because I was the kid that got two Christmases and twice the presents.  ;)  It was pretty awesome, I won’t lie.

 

On Christmas Eve, I was with my mom, stepdad, and younger brother.  We were all scurrying to get our last minute shopping and wrapping done.  I also would help my stepdad in the kitchen, as he would do a baking extravaganza each year.  He is quite the baker and cook!  The list would be forever long if I started to name off what he baked.  We would pass the goodies out to neighbors, friends, and family.  On Christmas Eve night, we would always have a special dinner, which in the most recent years that I lived at home was at Macaroni Grill with my uncle, aunt, and cousins.  After dinner we all went to our church’s Christmas Eve service for a message and carols.  Then the gift opening fun happened when we returned home.  Santa always came when we were at church, of course.  (I still don’t understand how my parents did this…  I’m guessing one of our neighbors helped them out. ;) )  We would stay up late playing with our new toys and gadgets.

with my brother, Brent, at Christmas 2007

 

 

with my stepdad, mom, & Brent at Christmas 2008

 

On Christmas Day morning, I woke up bright and early to meet my dad.  When we were a lot younger, I would get to my dad and stepmom’s house, and my younger brother and sister would anxiously be awaiting my arrival so we could open presents.  As we got older, the gift opening happened later and later… :)  The activities for Christmas Day changed from year to year.  There were a few years we went up to northern Arizona to visit my aunt and uncle in Sedona, other years we took it easy and went to a movie together as a family, and still other years I remember having a big family brunch at our house after opening presents.

with my dad & stepmom, Christmas 2007

 

 

with my brother, Ryan, and sister, Lauren, Christmas 2008

 

Now that I’ve been married for a little over a year and live in another state from my families, I wonder what traditions my husband and I will develop as the years go on.  We’ve already established a few such as making an event out of decorating the tree by listening to Christmas music and enjoying a festive treat, attending our candlelight Christmas Eve service, and going out for a nice Christmas Eve dinner together.  I’m sure as we have children someday, the traditions will continue to build even more.  I think Christmas traditions are so special and memorable.  I’ll never forget the many fun Christmas traditions I had with my family growing up.

 

Questions:

  • What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
  • Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?
  • If you’re married, have you developed any new Christmas traditions together?
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Comments

  1. says

    Morning! Love this :) I can remember growing up and wanting to stay up ALL night to wait for Santa and my mom telling me that he wouldn’t come if I didn’t go to sleep. I don’t think she knew what she was asking..lol. Over the years, I love the fact that my family and I can still be together. I know that if I go on the mission field it won’t always be that way, so I relish every moment.
    I am not married, but I do have my own tradition…..Christmas Eve night I stay up and watch Christmas movies all…um I mean MOST of the night. I am too old to stay up all night anymore! But I do try. ;)
    On Christmas morning I get up early and go to my brothers house for Christmas pancakes with my niece and nephew. I am sure they will have chocolate chips in them. Since Christmas is on Sunday this year, we are going to have service at church, then head back to open our gifts. It’s gonna be a good day!

    Have a great day Ashley!

    • Ashley says

      that sounds like a perfect Christmas weekend to me. :) i’m glad you can still be so close to family! that must be so special.

  2. says

    Hi girl,
    Love your blog! We have so many traditions in my family. On Christmas Eve my family comes over and we feast on a whole lot of seafood (we are italian). I use to open presents on Christmas Eve when i was younger, but now we just open them n Christmas day. I’m not married yet, but I’m sure I will develop even more traditions once that day comes!
    Merry Christmas
    -Stellina

  3. says

    Sounds like you have doubled the fun!
    This is my baby’s first year of xmas (although she probably wouldn’t know what is going on) we are going to put up a tree and celebrate :D may have to think about a tradition to start next year..

  4. says

    Loved reading about your christmas traditions:) For christmas every year, my whole family goes to my grandmothers house in newport, rhode island. We all stay in a hotel right on the water because my grandmothers house is too small to fit all of us. We eat lots of yummy food, and drinks lots of yummy wine:)

  5. says

    CUTE pics! You’re so pretty!

    We do the ‘spiritual/religious’ Christmas evening with lots of songs about Christ, reading Luke 2, re-enacting the story, and reading inspirational books. We also open 1 gift from our aunts from Switzerland and get Christmas PJs. Christmas day is more about Santa….so I like the separation for us :)

  6. says

    Great post! One tradition when I was a kid was that I could always open one gift on Christmas Eve. And on Christmas morning, my stocking full of goodies was always on the corner of my bed. While I waited for everyone else to wake up, I would get to open my stocking with just my mom. It was always special. :)

    Since B and I are still “newlyweds,” we haven’t really developed any traditions yet. But I look forward to making many special holiday memories with him!

  7. says

    The hubs and I have been married a little over three years now, and we hardly have any of our “own” traditions. We still always spend the holiday with family. It’s fun to start your own though, so I guess we’ll begin all that once we have kids.

  8. says

    Aw I love your traditions! We have a tradition on Christmas Eve to go to my aunt’s house and spend the evening with my mom’s side of the family. I love it! We used to do some stuff on Christmas day with my dad’s side, but now that my parents are divorced that tradition has kind of fallen apart. I, like you, though definitely love traditions around the holidays and can’t wait to start more when Chris and I get married!

  9. says

    Love family traditions! I agree, things are so much more different now that I’m older and married, but I still look forward to creating our own family traditions. This year we’ve discussed little things we’d like to do for our little family but we each agree it won’t really be as fun until we have little ones to open presents on Christmas day. I love baking Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve! <3

  10. says

    are you not going home for christmas? We have a few traditions, such as reading a The Night Before Christmas before bed on Christmas Eve, my mom cooking Christmas Eve dinner and then going to my cousins’ for Christmas dinner, and having cinnamon rolls and egg casserole in the morning before opening all our gifts around the tree!

    • Ashley says

      unfortunately not this year since we went home for a week over Thanksgiving. it gets expensive and since i work at our church, i felt like i needed to be there for our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services. i love the sounds of your family traditions!

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