Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I LOVE traditions. Especially holiday ones!

For Thanksgiving every year my family goes to an early movie while the turkey cooks. Now that may not sound that cool to you, but this is the one day I am more excited to see a movie than any other day of the year! My first memory of this tradition was going to see "The Little Mermaid", which of course was FABULOUS. Ever since then I have loved this tradition. This year we got to see "Twilight" which I had also been looking very forward to.

Another Thanksgiving tradition was playing BINGO for prizes later in the evening. Silly prizes like gum, Slinkies, Silly Putty, and cheap toys, but boy did I look forward to it! The prizes were even wrapped, so it was like a precursor to Christmas.

Christmas traditions were pretty "traditional" in our household. Reading the Christmas story, musical performances, goodies, sharing experiences, etc.

Since I moved out of my parents' house, my family started a different tradition. Some friends of ours purchased elf costumes from the movie "Elf." Some of us dress up in these costumes, then we go to the hospital and visit patients' rooms to sing them carols and deliver goodies donated by the hospital. My dad or brother plays the guitar while we all sing. It's a great way to start the morning and feel the true meaning of Christmas!

My parents' gift to their friends also became a tradition. My dad made tons of home-made salsa while my mom and the kids decorated gift bags and loaded them up with tortilla chips. Soon enough people began talking about "Kevin's Home-made Salsa" and wanted it more often than just Christmas! I enjoyed going out and delivering with my family. Even more though I loved looking at all the Christmas lights!

My Dad organizes a program every Christmas Eve. Everyone is assigned to participate whether it's a story, an experience, or a musical performance. It really invites the spirit in and helps us reflect on the most important thing in life...our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. By the end of the evening most of us have shed a tear or two.

My grandma Wannie always makes delicious goodies, and when away from her, even sends them to us! Her Honey Candy is amazing. Cassie has even started making it the last couple of years. I don't even want to take on that task. Honey Candy is SO hard to make! I also love the home-made fudge (MINUS the nuts) and Butter Balls (Aunt Donna's favorite!).

This is how Christmas morning went at our house. We had to wait until 7:00 to get our parents up. I was usually the one to go wake up the siblings, then we'd go in together and tell them to get up! It's Christmas! (Of course before all that I'd go take a little peek under the tree. We'd all be in our jammies. The BIG gift, usually covered in a blanket, was from Santa. We'd start with that. Then on to the stockings, also left by Santa, then to all the wrapped gifts from each other under the tree. We would take turns opening presents, one at a time.

While we would clean up, Dad would make a big breakfast of his scrumptious omelets complete with onions, green peppers, tomatoes, avacados, and cheese. MMMMazing I tell you!

We kids would neatly lay our gifts on our beds and admire our new treasures. We'd call our friends and tell each other what we got for Christmas.

When I was a little older we got a ping pong table for Christmas. Inviting friends over and playing "Around the World" became something we started to do every year as well.

We couldn't end the day without a yummy honey baked ham, augratin potatoes, rolls, salad, and veggies. Oh how I love the holidays!

I remember the feeling of Christmas in my home. There was Christmas music humming throughout the house all day every day. The candles and baking goodies brought a sweet aroma, warm feelings and excitement. This time of year always seemed a little more peaceful and a little more filled with love.

I only wish I would keep those feelings with me all year long.

Tell me your traditions! I want to start more and would LOVE ideas!