Home For The Holidays – Our Family Traditions

family traditionsFrom Our Home To Yours, Happy Holidays!

I love the holidays and the anticipation that comes with it.  A roaring fire in the fireplace with the aroma of  a turkey baking and Christmas music playing.   Ahh, the simple things.

Today I wanted to write about what makes our family’s holidays so special.  We are soooo NOT the Waltons.  We are more like the Griswolds in the movie “Family Vacation”.  Not really, but close.  🙂 My daughter, son & daughter-in-law all have crazy sense of humors, so there is never a dull moment.  Not to mention they are great cooks, so everyone pitches in.

Holidays

Our 9 grandchildren make the holidays especially fun.  They range in the age of 5 months to 13 years old with 4 girls and 5 boys.  When we all get together it is a blast.  However, it can get real crazy in our modest 2,200 sq. ft.  home.

When the grands get together here at Gammy & Poppy’s house, they are like best friends running through the house.  The older girls slip off to tell secrets and the boys, well they are boys with all of their gadgets and games.  We have a 15 month old toddler that is in to everything (just like his daddy was), and the newest member of our family gets passed around like no one has ever seen a newborn baby before.  Good times.

When I was growing up, I was one of 4 kids.  My daddy was a fireman working two jobs while my mom stayed home to raise us.  There was barely enough money to get by on but my parents believed in making Christmas exciting.  They couldn’t spend much on gifts, but they were masters at making it look like they had spent a million dollars on us.  Memories!

Because of those memories, I enjoy decorating the house for Christmas, making it as inviting and festive as I can.  So the day after Thanksgiving the tree goes up!  Christmas is a big deal at my house and always has been!  I am like a kid when it comes to the decorations.

Like my parents, as far as gifts go, around here there will be tons of packages under the tree.  I love the wow factor  but we do stay on a budget and work hard to keep things even-steven.  Do you do that?  Do you have to make things even with your kids and grand kids?  My husband calls it OCD.  I spend a lot of effort in making sure everyone (grands) have the same amount of gifts under the tree.  I may not have spent the same, but it looks the same.

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The grands are getting older and harder & harder to buy for, so a few years ago I came up with a plan to help me shop more efficiently and buy & make them things that they actually want (within reason).

At Thanksgiving,  I provide Christmas Wish lists for everyone.   Click picture for download.

I roll them up like little scrolls, tie them with ribbon, attach Christmas pencils to each one and place them in a basket on the table.  The rule in my house is, they have to be turned in before they leave that day (including the adults).  No more wondering what the older kids are wanting these days!  So the day after Thanksgiving I start making my shopping list.  Sweet Heaven.

I also have extra sheets on hand because I tend to get a first draft from the older ones with stuff like; mini bikes, four wheelers, cell phones etc.  So those goof balls get a second sheet of paper to resubmit their real list.  🙂  This is a fun tradition at Thanksgiving and they look forward to it every year.

Our Traditional Thanksgiving Meal:  Deep fried turkey, dressing, ham, mashed potatoes, giblet gravy, corn casserole, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, black eyed peas, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce & crescent rolls.

Deserts:  Uncooked fruit cake (my husband demands), and anything my daughter and daughter-in-law want to bring.  I love pot luck!

Our family traditions

New Christmas Pajamas for Christmas Eve

Our Mischievous Elf on a Shelf (his name is Buddy)

Watching Christmas movies

My kids leave a trail of  reindeer food outside (mixture of dry oatmeal and glitter), that leads to the door.   The glitter makes it more magical and helps the reindeer to find it.

Leave milk and cookies out for santa

Throw rocks on the roof and jingle bells.  Gets kids to bed fast!

Read the true Christmas story from  Matthew 2: 18-25

 

Traditions submitted by readers:

Melanie – When we were little, my parents would hang a sheet around the Christmas tree on Christmas eve before we went to bed. When we woke up on Christmas morning we read the Christmas story in the Bible and prayed together as a family. The sheet was there so that we didn’t lose focus on the true heart of Christmas by having presents be the first thing we saw.

Tiffany – Our newest traditions for Christmas, A sneaky elf named Markle! He flies in after Thanksgiving. When he is visiting us, He tends to get into trouble while the kids are asleep. One night he toilet paper rolled our living room. The kids LOVED his little episodes… They still mention Markle!! Wonder what all he will do this year, If he returns 🙂:)

THE WINNER OF THIS YEARS

FAMILY TRADITIONS CONTEST  

AND A $100 GIFT CARD IS…….

Ashley – We have started a new tradition since we now have a daughter. We get 24 books and wrap them. Every night from Dec 1-24, we open one book and read that book that night. They don’t have to be Christmas books or expensive brand new books (goodwill has awesome deals on books). My daughter loves to read and this helps keep her interested in it.

 

Now it is time to bring on the Christmas movies!  My husband has an extensive collection of Christmas movies and we love to watch them.  Doing so, helps us get in the Christmas spirit.

 

Meet Who Makes My Heart Complete:

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My husband, the Love of my life
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My gorgeous daughter and granddaughters.
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My handsome son, his beautiful wife and 7 children.

 

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Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read All The Articles From My Home For The Holidays Series:

Preparing For The Holidays 

Symbolic Meaning of The Christmas Tree

Our Favorite Christmas Movies

Fun with Elf on A Shelf

Christmas Products

Gift Wrapping

Walmart’s Hottest Toys 2012

25 Things I Love About Fall

Football Season

So now that you know my family and our traditions for the holidays, please tell me about yours!

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