Sorry for the lack of blogging from me last week, I just couldn't bring myself to write anything. I did end up having strep throat and I felt like death. Seriously, I never fully understood how bad strep throat really was until I had it. Also, I'm sorry that today's post is later than usual, but I slept in and then slowly started my day. I will try and do better for the rest of the week. Try is the key word there.
Now on to the subject of today's post, Christmas. As you may have guessed from my birthday post, my family was pretty big on special events and holidays. We had a tradition for everything and it was great.
First of all, we would always go out as a family to get the tree. We would all bundle up and traipse through the woods fighting over what the "perfect" one was, until we finally agreed on one and we chopped it down with an axe.
As you can tell from the above picture, there is more than one tree. You see, when we were younger, we were allowed to each pick and cut down our very own mini tree to go in our room and decorate however we wanted. It was a pretty awesome tradition.
Once we had the main tree back to the house, Dad and Mike would get the tree ready to go up in the living room. We had to make sure it was very solid and wouldn't fall over, since one year it did tip down onto us Christmas morning. Once it was up, we all got together as a family to haul all the decorations up from the basement and deck out the tree in craziness.
Every year, Dad would sit in a chair and watch as the rest of us ran around hanging ornaments wherever we wanted to. It was tradition.
When Christmas eve came around, we started getting ready for the evenings events by cleaning the house from top to bottom, lugging bedding down to the living room and setting the table for the tea party. We would then go to the candlelight service at our church and upon arriving home, we would have a tea party!
The tea party involved hot apple cider (until we discovered no one actually liked it, then we switched to tea) and a ton of Christmas goodies! We spent most of December baking treats and storing them all in preparation for this tea party. We usually all ate until we felt ill and then retired to the living room for the next part of the festivities.
By this point, everyone would have set up their beds in the living room in front of the fireplace and it was now time to hunker down and read the Christmas story. This was usually done by candlelight and involved singing some Christmas songs as well.
Once the Christmas story and singing was done, we would all pile into our makeshift beds and try to sleep. I never slept well on Christmas eve and it wasn't because I was sleeping on the floor. I was just too excited! I would wake up every hour thinking it must be morning by now but it was usually still the middle of the night.
When morning and the pre-arranged wake up time finally did arrive, we were allowed to open our stockings. While opening our stockings, we snacked upon BabyBel cheese, Yops, clementines and chocolate. This was to tide us over until breakfast of course.
Then we had to wait to open gifts until the chores were done. This was the one morning a year that Dad got a break from doing the chores so the kids took turns. Although to be honest, I never participated.
Once the chores were done, we were then allowed to open presents!
It was usually a crazy time with squeals and paper and presents everywhere but it was always so much fun. Once all the delighted present opening was done, we then moved on to our big Christmas morning breakfast. This breakfast involved bacon, sausages, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, orange roll, fruit and orange juice. The grandparents were usually invited for this part and we all enjoyed a nice brunch that then lasted us most of the day.
That is basically it for Christmas day, but at some point during the holidays, gingerbread houses were made. This is one of the main traditions that has been carried on over the many years and we still enjoy it to this day.
Christmas was my favourite holiday as a child and it still is. There is just something so magical about the time spent with family. Do you have any special Christmas traditions that you loved as a child? Any that continue on to this day?
Memory Monday Mini Series
Week 1: Birthdays
Week 2: Little Sisters
Week 3: Wedding Dresses
Week 4: Hard Work
Week 5: West Trip
Week 6: Christmas