I remember frilly Christmas dresses that we would go to Mass in, every Christmas Eve. I ALWAYS wanted to be a narrator for the Christmas pageant. Duh, I love to read! I truly believed Santa was real until 5th grade because never in a million years did I think my parents would buy me all of THAT! (Seriously, we grew up, upper middle class, but I had to earn my allowance and save up for toys/games in between birthdays & Christmas. Toys R Us? Only saw the catalog.) We went out for Chinese every Christmas Eve after Mass & I could not wait to get home & open the one present we were allowed on Christmas Eve. My siblings and I always picked the CD. Hahaha, easy to distinguish even when wrapped.
On Christmas morning, we always woke each other up to run downstairs, look at the pile of presents & rip into our stockings while we waited on Mom & Dad to wake up. We'd eat breakfast, go to my Grandfather's & repeat! My mom's father (Gpa W) looooved Christmas. I miss him terribly this time of year. My father is a police officer, and many have side security contracts with various businesses. So, my Dad always picked up the Christmas shift, and we would stay downtown in one of THE COOLEST hotels. It was icing on the cake.
|My sister & I; I'm the taller blonde|
Fast foward to 2014, and Christmas has quieted down quite a bit for my family. My parents are now divorced, and I have, at best, a strained relationship with my Dad. Now that my sister and I are grown, with full time jobs, it makes it hard to have all the glitz we used to as kids, but we have our own adult traditions. This year, we're having to cram all of our traditions in on Christmas Eve. My mother is in healthcare, and my sister works retail-two of the worst jobs to have around the holidays. LOL. Oh, and obviously, there's no more Santa. Saddest day of my life. So, we'll go for Chinese (that hasn't changed), and unwrap ALL of our presents on Christmas Eve. The past probably 10 or so years, my mom and I have been to the movies on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It used to be SO empty, but I think the general public has caught on haha. Not sure if we'll be able to do that this year, just because of work schedules. My mom and I put our Christmas tree up about a week and half ago.
|Excuse the Halloween Pumpkins|
We pranked my Mom haha
I try to make it to my Dad's Mother's house a few days after Christmas. She's a whopping 98 years old! She lives about 45 minutes away from me now. So, it's hard to get up to see her, but I go as often as I can, and definitely every year around Christmas.
Why are holiday traditions so important though? I think spending time with family is what makes it so important. Traditions give you an idea of what to expect, and makes the memories unique to your family. It gives you something to look forward to. The holidays are often stressful, but when they all accumulate on that one day, you KNOW it was worth it. On top of that, traditions are never changing, for the most part. Even my family and I have the staples from childhood that we stick too. If my sister and I had kids, I'm sure our holidays would be more like when we were children. We don't go to Mass ever anymore. So, definitely not one of those hypocrites (ya, I said it) that only go on Christmas and Easter. The falling out with our Church happened post divorce (hmm, another blog topic?). I think holiday traditions in a way, make the holidays easier. You know your part/role, You know where you're supposed to be at a given hour on a specific day. With all the stress, it helps to know that at least on that "one day," (whichever holiday you may celebrating), everything is in a way taken care of. No last minute plans, or changing plans. Don't have traditions? It's not hard to start your own!
Tomorrow, I leave for Denver. My boyfriend found a truck (stay tuned for posts about our relationship and that road trip)-he's been truck hunting for about 6 months now. So, we'll drive out there, pick up the truck, and that will put me home with my family hopefully a few days before Christmas Eve. I shamefully still have wrapping to do! Usually I'm done by now, but it's been a hectic month for some reason...
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! And I hope 2015 brings everyone only the BEST!