Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Tuesday traditions and memories


Happy Tuesday, friends. I thought I'd share some things we used to do as a family when the boys were younger—I don't know who reads this with little kiddos, but I hope it inspires you to start traditions of your own.

 I love Christmas for a million reasons, but one thing I love most about this season is the feeling that it brings about. Even as a young girl, I have always loved this time of year and my parents made it so special for me. I did different things with Mom than I did with Dad, but the time was still so sweet and something I hold very closely in my heart. In case you didn't know this about me, quality time is my love language. You'll see that thread throughout this post. 

When I was young, I always loved decorating for Christmas. I looked forward to the days when I got to do this with my parents. We had this huge stone fireplace at the home I grew up in, with some of the stones sticking out, and my mom would put decorations up even on some of the stones. I loved this and thought it was the most wonderful thing ever. With my dad, he always had a real tree, so the tradition of going to a Christmas tree lot was born. We would then go home and decorate it together. I've tried to continue on with this tradition with my sons, so when they were little, we started the tradition of putting up all the Christmas decorations on the day after Thanksgiving—eventually we started doing this the night of Thanksgiving. 

I always called them my little elves—we would blare Christmas music and get it all done in just a couple of hours. This still rings true today and just a couple of weeks ago, we put it all up one Thursday night. They balked at the thought of us doing this two weeks early, but they still helped me and while they fluffed the tree, I put out the stuff in the rest of the house. We all did the tree together.


Isn't it beautiful? But does an ugly Christmas tree exist? I think not.

We used to love going to visit Santa every year. My mom-in-love's cousin always played Santa at a local museum, so we would always go there one weekday afternoon, then we would end the day eating Chick Fil A together afterward. When her cousin passed away, his son Kenny took over playing Santa, so we continued that tradition together until just a couple of years ago. This picture below is them one year, when they were goofing off for me while I took pictures of them. 

And below is what I shared on social media about this time—

I don't know if I was ever adequately prepared for how fun it was to be a boy mom, but I know I always wanted a house full of them since I was a young girl. This picture makes me laugh, because we had taken them to see Santa and these were the days when they were fascinated by things like penguins and escalators, which is random, I know. We loved all of our traditions: a visit with Santa, Christmas movies, the town tree lighting, Zoo lights, the town parade, making all of our favorite goodies together, driving around to look at lights in our pajamas with the dogs and stopping for Starbucks Christmas drinks...we did it all and loved every second. Some of these things we haven't done in years, but it would be fun to revisit a tradition or two this year.

I suppose my point is that it's good to slow down, it's good to remember. I wonder if someone had told me these were the golden years, would I have enjoyed them even more? (And I made the most out of these days, trust me!) I try not to long too much for what was, because I also love this present time and the ages they all are now...but it sure is fun to remember days gone by. Their favorite movie was Elf...about three or four years ago, Drew reenacted the scene where Buddy didn't know how to ride an escalator at a Christmas concert we were at and split his pants wide open. One thing for sure, life with these guys has never been boring! To this day, they make me laugh harder than anyone else.

Those are the other fun things we did every year. We always kicked off the season by going to our local zoo, for Zoo Lights. We did this with my dad and stepmom every single year— my favorite year that we did this, we ended the night by leading a tram full of people in Christmas carols. We sang loud and proud and to this day, my dad still talks about that night. We tried to do that again in years since then, but it never worked out like it did that one time. In my family, we all love to sing.

Here are the boys at Zoo Lights...they'd probably been running around the exhibit and we stopped for hot chocolate.


These pictures below are us last year at Zoo Lights. Trish and I always have to stop by the tree and get our picture made with Dad. Isn't my necklace fabulous?? It flashes.




(This picture above is the year we had pictures made for Christmas.)

Graham and Drew were messing around and I love their smiles in this photo that my friend Christa took. (You can tell we never do this by the fact that we were not coordinated in our clothing. I am rolling my eyes at myself.)

We always went to our town Christmas tree lighting together on the Tuesday night after Thanksgiving, and Drew has sang in it before, the year he was in third grade choir. Our little town really knows how to do this up, and it is better than the Rockefellar center tree lighting, in my humble opinion. In that same week, the town parade is always that Friday night. We used to sit on a sidewalk on the road the floats ran down, but when we started attending our church, we started sitting there on the church property. Every year, at least one time, we would load up in my Suburban, even the dogs, and we would drive around in our pajamas looking at Christmas lights. We always stopped at Starbucks for Christmasy drinks to take on the ride. We would end this after about two hours—there is only so much of this togetherness we could handle, and the dogs always got too rowdy and I ended up yelling. (I'm smiling as I relive all these memories.)


This picture above is one night we were at the town tree lighting. Left to right are Graham, Noah in the back, Jonah in the red, Drew and Alex our bonus son...I don't know what my husband did to make Alex smile like that, but I love his sweet expression.

Church has always been a huge part of our Christmas season, because the kids and I have always been in our Christmas programs or concerts. I miss that this year! We aren't having one, thanks to Covid. My favorite thing to see is when the church is all decked out for Christmas. I also love our Christmas eve candlelight service.

(This picture above is Dad and me from last year, the night we had our Christmas night of worship. I love that no matter how old I am, my parents support me in my music.)

What are some of your favorite memories and traditions? I'd love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading my blog. Love to all.


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