Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Christmas: Starting New Traditions & Preserving Old

Christmas may have come and gone, but the excitement of sharing the holiday season with my daughter is hard to forget.  For our family, Christmas is the bright light in the winter months.  Houses are illuminated by beautiful, and sometimes obnoxious, lights.  Holiday music helps me pass the hours at work, and the joy of spending time with loved ones is a much anticipated event.

This year our little family reveled in the Christmas holiday as we all dove into starting new traditions with our new baby, while preserving the family past times.

Here's a glimpse into our household during the holiday:

Visit to Santa:
Early in December we bundled Anderson in a warm Christmas outfit and headed out to visit Santa.  We chose to visit Santa's house in downtown Decatur.  Anderson is a very inquisitive little girl -- and Santa was a very interesting person to look at!  She stared at his white beard for a few minutes.  She asked Santa for a new BMW (guess who was talking to Santa for her)!

December 23rd Family Celebration:
It was important to JC and I to make sure we carved out some time around Christmas dedicated to just our small family unit.  For us, that time was December 23rd.  Warm soup, new Christmas jammies, a light display tour and "Christmas Story" viewing was the way we spent the evening together.  Even though Miss Anderson was not amused by our little family celebration and slept through the night, it was still a special evening as we enjoyed family time together.  The next morning we opened our gifts from one another and "Santa" as he made an early stop for Anderson.

Designated Wrapping Paper:
This is a tradition I carried over from my family.   This year we all knew who had which wrapping paper.  Anderson loved her wrapping paper.  It was bright, shiny greens and pinks -- which matched all of her pink toys she received.  Are there any girl toys that aren't pink? 

Family Celebrations:
No matter where JC and I have lived over the past years we have always made it a priority to travel to see both of our immediate families during the holiday.  It takes some strategic planning as we live two hours away from my family, he has multiple Christmas celebrations for his immediate family and with his job in television he often has to work.  Despite some fatigue and stress due to the travel, and massive amounts of food, we are always thankful we make the effort to see everyone.  This year was even more stressful and tiring as we had a 4 month old to bring along on our journey.  Since this will likely be our last year traveling on Christmas (Santa will always come to our house), we made sure to make special memories with family.  We are both extremely excited to have Santa come to our house next year, and host family for years to come.

I'm looking forward to beautiful smiles and squeals of glee Christmas morning, Christmas wishes from Santa's lap and traditions and memories made with family during future years.  For me, the holidays truly are more fun now that I'm a Mommy.  It allows me to take a quick journey back to childhood and appreciate the joys of the holiday through my daughter's eyes.  After doing this it's hard to care about receiving presents, making the perfect pie or any of the other superficial, materialistic things that Christmas might have become.  The best Christmas present anyone could ever have given me arrived on September 2nd at 1:45 a.m. weighing 7 pounds, 9 ounces.

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