Can you believe Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK! This year has just flown by- especially the last couple months. It was August like two blinks of an eye ago! I cannot believe we are almost to Thanksgiving. That is just crazy to me.
This Holiday season is going to be so much fun. Because Baby Bub was so scared of Santa Clause last year, I started right after Halloween trying to help him understand. Our town has already put up its Christmas decorations so we have already started riding around looking at lights. And Baby Bub oooooos and ahhhhhs like the best of them! It is so precious. Riding around looking at Christmas lights is absolutely one of my holiday traditions- my mom, aunt and cousin and I used to ride around every Christmas looking at lights.
It has got me thinking about our Holiday traditions. And what my holiday traditions were as a child. I am here to tell you, I knew exactly what was on the Thanksgiving menu every year because we had the same stuff every year. Period. And we had the same menu for Christmas lunch too. I looked forward to it every year. All of my Daddy’s moma’s side of the family came together. My Daddy had 10 first cousins on that side and just about all of them had children and even some of them had children too. My grandmother was kind of the glue that made that happen- and when she died, we quit doing it. One of the items on the menu every year was a rice ring- when I made it for Bub’s side of the family, they did not appreciate it in the least!
It wasn’t until I married Bub and started celebrating holidays with his family that I fully realized that different families do things differently. My family never and I mean never sat around the table- there were too many of us. I mean, 4 sisters, 11 children among them and all of them with spouses plus 16 children in my generation. The dining room table and buffet became the serving line. When I tried to do the same thing at my house with Bub’s family- they thought I was crazy for expecting them to eat with their plate in their lap- but, it was all I had ever known. His family is not nearly as big.
This year we are doing something we have never done before. We are going to a Thanksgiving buffet at a local restaurant- the one where Bub and I work. Bub has to work that day- his mom is going to the mountains and my moma said it was her Thanksgiving too and she was staying home (I don’t blame her a bit.) My dad, stepmom and sister are coming down and Bub’s sister, her husband and daughter are going to join us- no cooking, no clean-up, no leftovers. I am looking forward to it!
And what will you be doing the day after Christmas? Will you be braving the Black Friday madness? Are the deals just too good to pass up? In my case- no, no, no. Maybe and I mean, maybe if I didn’t have a sidekick that I would have to take with me- I might think about hitting up some Black Friday sales but, the thought of shopping with Baby Bub and having to deal with all the crowds sends me into a near panic attack. I am 100% sure I can find good deals online from the comfort of my own home.
And after we turn the corner of Thanksgiving- Christmas is the next stop. Wow! You just do not know until you are in a serious relationship with someone what it means to have to juggle all the family time. I just love seeing everybody and hanging out with them on both sides- but, I abhor having to do the Holiday 500! One of the things that I really remember from the Holiday seasons of my childhood were that we had a plan- the same plan every year. I spent Christmas Eve with my Moma’s family. Christmas morning I went to my Daddy’s house and then to his Moma’s house. That’s what we did for my entire childhood. My Daddy’s mother hosted Christmas for her family- all of them, just like at Thanksgiving every year of my life- except the last one of her life. Seriously. I knew from a young age that I was expected to be at her house by 11 on Christmas morning- pretty much come hell or high water. Bub’s family kind of does different stuff every year. I never know what we are going to do from year to year.
I will say this- we all, and I mean my divorced parents and both sets of grandparents all lived in the same town. So- it was kind of different. We now live 2 hours from my hometown where my parents and surviving grandmother live and Bub’s mom and stepdad live an hour and half from here if we can’t take the ferry. I made the decision before Baby Bub came along that I was not going to spend Christmas driving. And when he was born I decided we would spend Christmas Eve in our own beds. This year, we are trying a few other new things including not having the traditional Christmas menu- we’ll see how it goes. The one Christmas tradition that we will be doing is riding around looking at Christmas lights several times a week- from here through Christmas- I just love that.
What are your Holiday traditions? Does your entire family get together? Do y’all have the same menu every year? Do you play the holiday 500? You know, we want to know!
This is my favorite time of year as well! Our Christmas tradition is to pack a thermos with hot chocolate and spend the evening running all over town to look at the Christmas lights on Dec. 23rd. Then we relax together on Christmas Eve, watching movies and just being together and then all of the family madness happens on Christmas Day! 🙂 I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
Kristine, I just love traditions! I think hot chocolate is a great idea to take along to look at lights. I think the most important part of the holidays is spending time with those you love and however you do that- is perfect. I hope you have a wonderful Holiday season. –
My parents and my husband’s have passed but I’m one of five kids so we host Christmas Eve at our house with everyone and on Christmas day we attend mass and have a small dinner with our kids. Not nearly as hectic as so many of our friends who try to see all their family so I am grateful for that but I do like celebrating with my family too.
Patti, I think lots of people get caught up in a hectic rush to see every family member in a 48 hour period and it just gets crazy! I think your family traditions sound perfect- big family on Christmas Eve and little family on Christmas Day- lovely. I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday season.
We have a Christmas tradition of making a gingerbread house and driving around to see lights -definitely my favorite time of year 🙂
IT really is such a fun time of the year! I loved reading about your traditions and non-traditions…we love decorating the Christmas tree early in December, making hot cocoa and egg nog and making a big day of it. We also go Downtown to see all the Christmas lights around town…among many things we like to do at Christmas!
We’ve started a new family tradition that includes hosting a huge outdoor party/event where we Christmas carol, eat cookies, drink hot chocolate, gather around the fire(pit) and play a Christmas movie on the garage door as the screen. It’s a hoot! And a nice way to bring Christ to our neighborhood.
I love having my family and extended family together on Thanksgiving. Christmas is more relaxing and we stayed on PJS and go nowhere.
I totally agree! I was raised by divorced and remarried parents and every holiday was spent running from house to house. I refuse to do the same with my kids and it’s worked for 11 years!
We are afraid our little one will be terrified of Santa this year, our 5 year old I think like shim now. We’ll see. Ha! I love the idea of the restaurant too. No clean up.
It is a wonderful time of the year! I love your pictures, and great thoughts!
Christmas is my favorite time too, I love the holidays and the bonding of families.
I love hearing everyone’s traditions as well. I also love doing things differently, so we’ve changed things up some. We’ve done Thanksgiving meals from various countries over the years, Peru for example. Now I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense to most, but we had fun researching the countries and creating the menu. We don’t have extended family around, so there was no one to consider as we were preparing our meals, just us and our preferences. I have great memories of doing this.
I love that y’all do your own thing! And menus from different countries is an excellent tradition!
I’m from Canada so our Thanksgiving is over but we did get together all the family for great food an fun! Looking forward to Christmas to do the same 🙂
We have some great friends who moved to Calgary- it has been fun hearing their stories of the discrepancies bt Canadian and American customs- one of those being different Thanksgiving days.
Every line of this post spoke to me. Been there, done that, girlfriend. Living far from home has meant that many a Thanksgiving has been spent elsewhere. I’ve hosted, attended, and gone out for like nine Thanksgivings now san family. It’s all about how much you like leftovers. Hosting is by far the most labor intensive (though you do get MORE leftovers), attending is nice if they give you a doggy bag (Tupperware) for home, though eatin’ out at a schmancy restaurant is (as you say) the bomb.com with zero dishes to clean (but minimal leftovers). I miss my family Thanksgivings though, and (also like you) have a similar tale… with every Christmas going off like clockwork in Lavonia. Presents at home. Breakfast at G’mas. Back home for presents and naps. Christmas Dinner at G’ma’s. Every year. This year… I don’t know. Russell goes in for treatment on the 19th… getting out the 24th… his blood counts will be non-neutropenic until the 27th… so, I don’t know. I’ve been thinking it’s going to be a river house Christmas, but he is asking to come home…