My family has a lot of Christmas traditions. Dan came from a family that kind of "goes through the motions" on holidays. My family makes everything a CELELBRATION. Usually around food. Maybe that explains why we are all just a little bit chubby.... Here are some traditions that we celebrate.
1. Every year my parents take all grandchildren over the age of 2 to Disneyland and keep them for the night (an annual Christmas tradition that Dan and I look forward to like giddly school girls). The next morning they bake Christmas cookies and grandma and Poppa spend the next week in an exhausted stupor. We spend 3 days getting them down from the sugar high and deprogramming them from over spoiling. Everyone is happy.
2. This Saturday we started a new tradition. My dad's business, Mr. Handyman, was in the Pacific Beach Holiday parade and my family joined in. We decorated the van and got dressed up in silly outfits and followed in the parade. Savannah wore her Christmas princess dress and handed out candy. She really thought she was IT and waived to her many admirers. She was adorable. Brady was raring and ready to go smiling at all the other parade people and exuberantly waving his candy cane....until we actually hit the parade route and then he fell over and went to sleep in the wagon we were towing him in. Vincent got to sit up front in Poppa's truck and smile, wave and yell at all the people.
3. Decorating the tree. This is one of my favorite childhood memories. My dad would set up the tree and then sit back exhausted from holding in all the 4 letter words that I am sure he was thinking while battling that damn tree. Then mom would makes some yummy snacks and my brothers and I would hang the ornaments. Fights always broke out. Usually because of Kevin tormenting one of us. People think he is the quiet and sweet one. Don't believe it. (This does not bode well for me with Brady) He would do something to to pester one of the rest of us and a brawl would ensue. Good times. Afterwards we would sip hot cocoa and sing Christmas carols around the tree. I have tried to carry on this tradition with my own family but usually end up singing alone.
4. Life-saver Man. He kinda goes along with #3, but needs to be a tradition of his own. Life-saver Man was a hideous ornament that my brother, Robby, made when he was really little. He was made out of a mini pack of Life-savers, maroon colored yarn and a styrofoam head. We loved him. My mother did not and would have a hissy every year when she would find Life-saver Man hanging from the highest branch of the tree right in front...where she was too short to reach. Bwahahah!
5. Boxing Day. You Canadians know what I am talking about. It is the day after Christmas and a Canadian tradition that we kept celebrating after we moved back to the States. We invite over all our friends and have a big Boxing Day Brunch and a "White Elephant" gift exchange. Everybody brings silly gifts and then we steal them from each other. I like to put in a nice gift like a Starbucks gift card. I usually end up with something weird like a turtle shaped stepping stool. Hmmm...