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traditions

I love Christmas jammies. Maya loves Christmas jammies. Every year she gets super excited about the pajamas she gets to wear on Christmas Eve. I also love giving the girls new Christmas books. New books to add to our collection that we can read every year when the Christmas stuff gets brought out. However, giving the girls their Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve means they don’t get to wear them much. And, giving them a new Christmas book as one of their Christmas gifts means they don’t get to read it much before it all gets put away. So, I decided to remedy that.

This year I am starting a new Christmas tradition. Saturday morning, the first day of Maya’s Christmas break, the girls will come downstairs to find a very special present under the tree addressed to them. They will open a letter attached to that gift and find a special note from Santa saying that he sent one of his elves on a very special mission to deliver this package to them so they could begin Christmas break by getting cozy and reading Christmas stories as a family. Inside the girls will find a special pair of Christmas jammies for each of them along with a new Christmas book!

I can’t wait to see Maya and Anna’s faces when they see that gift under the tree. I can’t wait to curl up in our warm, cozy jammies and read them their new book. This is a new tradition I’m really looking forward to :)

It is no secret that Maya doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to Santa pictures.  The ones we have framed on our mantel show a terrified little girl close to tears (two years in a row).  So, you can imagine my surprise yesterday when Maya asked if she could go visit Santa.  We were heading to the mall anyway so I said okay and figured I’d just wait and see how things played out when we got there.

As soon as we got there Maya started asking about going to see Santa.  We headed over to the Santa area and I figured as soon as we got there she would chicken out.  She started to when we told her she had to sit with Santa by herself. She said she wanted to sit on my lap, not Santa’s.  We told her no, if she wanted to see Santa and have her picture taken with him she had to do it on her own.  To my great surprise she said okay.

So, we stood in line and watched as the few kids in line in front of us took their turn sitting with Santa and getting their picture taken.  After each one got off Santa’s knee Maya would ask if it was her turn.  I told she had to wait until there were no other kids standing in front of us.  When it was finally her turn she walked right up to Santa and told him what she wanted for Christmas and when Santa asked her if she wanted to sit on his lap for a picture she said sure and even let him pick her up.  It was adorable.  And, to make it even better she actually smiled for the picture (getting her to smile for a picture is quite a chore usually).  We ended up with a beautiful Santa picture to replace last year’s disaster.

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This past Sunday, as is our typical tradition, we put up on Christmas decorations, including our Christmas tree.  I love this time of year.  I love all the pretty lights and the beautiful decorations.  I love when it final time to pull the boxes filled with Christmas decorations up from the basement and turn our house into a Christmas wonderland.

Maya was super excited about decorated the tree this year.  She wanted with eager anticipation as Lorne got the tree all set up.

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As soon as that tree was standing she went straight for the ornaments and started putting them on the tree.  With the exception of a few spots on the tree with several ornaments all hanging on top of each other, she did a pretty good job helping out.

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She ended up being pretty proud of the final product. Every evening when we sit down to dinner she looks at the tree and tells us all about how much fun she had helping us put the ornaments on the tree.

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It didn’t take long for our cat, Lily, to take up residence under the tree.  From now until the tree comes down you can pretty much guarantee that one of our cats will be sleeping under the tree at any given time of the day.

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It is really beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here and I love it!!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous Christmas with their families.  We are busy spending time with both my family and Lorne’s family.  We’ll wake up this morning and open gifts with my Mum and brothers then head up to Lorne’s parent’s place around lunchtime.  Although it is always a crazy busy trip we are glad to be able to spend the holidays with our families.

May your heart be light this morning as you open gifts, may your thoughts be filled with joy as you think of your loved ones and may this next year bring you many wonderful things.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Christmas was always a big deal around my house when I was growing up.  My Mum loves (and I mean LOVES) Christmas.  She goes all out with her decorating.  Our house inside and out always looked very festive it was impossible not to get into the Christmas spirit.  There were several things we did every year, traditions that made the season familiar and wonderful.  Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without these traditions and I want to pass them on to Maya so that when she grows up and moves into her own home and has her own family she’ll think back on Christmases when she was growing up with the same fondness that I look back on my childhood Christmases.

One of my favorite Christmas traditions was getting a new Christmas ornament every year.  The ornament was always fondly picked out my my Mum and always captured each of us perfectly.  The ornament when we were really young was tapped to our big gift from Santa with the gift tag.  Later is was usually in our stocking.  I still use these ornaments every year to decorate my Christmas tree and have so much fun reminiscing as I put each ornament on the tree.  I’ve already started passing this tradition on to Maya, she has two ornaments that were very fondly picked out just for her.  I hope she loves this tradition as much as I do.

Another tradition that I loved and have already started passing on to Maya is the Christmas jammies and “the holding empty stocking” picture in said jammies.  Every year my Mum would buy us each a new pair of Christmas pajammas.  She would give us the new jammies on Christmas Eve when we got home from the Christmas Eve service at our church.   We would all don our new jammies and my Mum would get ready to take our yearly “hold our empty stocking” picture.  We would all grab our stockings and sit down in front of the Christmas tree and my Mum would take a picture.  The pictures always turned out so well, I think because we were all so happy and excited about what the next day would bring.  Maya’s Christmas jammies are sitting in my closet waiting for Christmas Eve when she will proudly wear them and get her picture taken.  Who doesn’t love a new pair of warm Christmas jammies.

The next Christmas tradition that I hope to pass on once we start having Christmases at home instead of traveling, is my Mum’s Christmas morning ritual tradition.  As a child this next tradition used drive us all crazy, but looking back on it I realize how awesome it was.  Every Christmas morning we would all get up and rush to the tree.  We would open the gifts in our stockings and our big Santa gift.  Once we were done my Mum would put a halt to the gift opening so that we could all head to the kitchen for a yummy pancake breakfast.  Although it was tough to leave our presents behind and sit through a whole breakfast, but I loved those breakfasts.  We were all so happy and had such fun talking about the gifts we had received from Santa.  I can’t wait to be at home for a Christmas so I can introduce her to this favorite of Christmas traditions.

There are so many Christmas traditions I want to share with Maya, but those are a few of my very favorites.  I hope she loves them as much as I do and I look forward to developing our own traditions, like making a gingerbread house every year 😉