Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas and its traditions

After my parents got divorced when I was a little girl I never liked Christmas. We could not really afford to have Christmas in our household and it was just a really stressful time for us.  As a child we had the occasional couple that would come driving up in their newest car full of gifts for our family, although we were grateful and couldn't have Christmas with out their generous gifts, I always remembered the shame that I felt when my friends asked me about the person who drove up. What was I supposed to say to my friends? My father was always stressed out and angrier than usual during this time of the year. He was stressed out from trying to get gifts and trying to put food on the table. Then he would end up getting frustrated with the whole thing and just gamble it all away so we wouldn't have either. A child is not supposed to understand this, and we had to grow up early. The older I got and the further away I lived from my family, Christmas was just a day where all the stores were closed. So about ten years ago my best friend at the time Thomas and I started a tradition, on Christmas day we would see a new movie and then find a place that was open for Christmas dinner.  When I became a believer I didn't change my tradition of movie watching with my best friend. Allot of people I worked with at the church didn't understand why I choose to hang out with him because he was gay. I told them he was my family and that because for ten years while everyone else had family to celebrate with, I had my friend Thomas who was my best friend.

Now that I am married, have a son and Thomas now lives in Peru, I can't really go out and see a movie on Christmas day. Instead I get to create traditions at home for my new family. Last year I started one where each person in our house gets a new pair of Pajamas. When I was younger I remember I had a friend whose mom did this for her and I thought to myself one day when I have a family I want this tradition as our own. This year all of the cute PJs were sold out in Target/Old Navy for Judahs size, but my sister Rhonda sent us some today! I have Judah wearing one pair tonight and will save the other for Christmas day.

I also wanted to have food traditions. Things that I want Judah and my husband to remember when they are older. Like a really special breakfast. So today I've been busy on Pinterest looking for some good breakfast ideas. I am going to do Cinnamon Rolls (or monkey bread) and this.....

With the Christmas tree, next year we are going to get a real one, we wanted to try a fake one first then try out a real one. But I decided that everything on the tree is going to be handmade, just today my best friend Heidi brought over some cute handmade owls she got off of Etsy for me. I can't wait till Judah is old enough to bring home handmade ornaments he made at school.

I've yet to see Santa with Judah this year. I am planning on doing this Friday when Scott starts his vacation. We are going to make a trip to the Dulles town center to see him because I think he is the best Santa around.  I haven't decided what to do about Santa on Christmas morning. I think I like my husbands idea of Santa is just a guy, we see at the mall and is in the stories. But the presents are from his parents and Christmas is Jesus's birthday.

Also each year I want to be able to open our home for people that don't have family or friends to celebrate Christmas with. They can always come over for food, good conversation and maybe even get beat at a game of Settlers with my husband. This year we were invited to my best friends home to do the same, so next year we will open our home to friends who may want to come over.

Starbucks holiday drinks, presents, the tree,  lights or the music. All that stuff is just icing on the cake, what Christmas is truly about is the birth of Jesus Christ. Its celebrating together with my family that we are together because of Him. He is the cake, he is the foundation, Christmas is His. Its no coincidence that the Lord matched me up with my husband who loves Christmas, who sings Christmas songs just about every day of the year and acts like Elf. Its also no coincidence that Judah was born during the Christmas season and he has this beautiful pure heart, that he raises his hands like he is saying"Lord I love you" when he looks outside at the sunlight, my son who has the sweetest smile and who waves and blows kisses at everyone. Its no coincidence the Lord has placed both my husband and son in my life to get the true meaning of Christmas, to start new traditions with them.

What traditions do you have for your family?

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  1. We make monkey bread every year and it is amazing. I think I'm going to get it ready the night before so I can just pop it in the oven while we open presents.

    I love starting new traditions with my family. We are doing the pajama thing too, but we are getting each other the most ridiculous pajamas we can find. Should be interesting!

    Oh and what you said about not liking Christmas as a kid? I can so relate. I hated Christmas after my parents divorced. But having a baby changed everything for me and I love it more than ever.

  2. What a beautiful post. I'm glad that you're starting fun traditions with your family for Christmas-- isn't it so fun?!-- and it's humbling to see that you're more worried about the traditions than the material aspect of the season!

  3. Awe. This was such a sweet post. :)

  4. Beautiful post, Jess! Love that you are creating new beautiful traditions! Merry Christmas!


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