Monday, December 21, 2009

Marital Monday: Christmas Traditions

Since Nathan and I are celebrating our first Christmas together as a married couple, we’ve been taking the time to reminisce about each of our families traditions during Christmas time.  It’s been fun talking through all of the different traditions we both had growing up and making our own.  In light of the quickly approaching holiday, I thought I’d share a few of our growing up traditions, and some of the ones we’ve already made for our little family.

Rachel’s Family:

  •  Ever since I can remember, my family has always had the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree while enjoying hot cocoa, peanut butter marshmallow toast and listening to Christmas jingles.  (For those curious, Peanut Butter Marshmallow Toast is a yummy and easy treat—spread PB on bread and top with marshmallows.  Broil in oven until lightly browned.  Enjoy!)
  •  Also, ever since I can remember, my family has exchanged an ornament each year.  These differed as mine and my brother’s likes did—i.e. Barbie ornaments football themed ornaments, etc.  We got to open the ornaments up before Christmas, which was always a plus for this antsy gift opener.  
  • Another one of my most favorite traditions was putting out Santa’s snack and a letter each year.  Growing up, my Santa always enjoyed BBQ Fritos, White Powdered Donuts and Chocolate Milk.  I would take time on Christmas Eve to write him a letter and tell him thanks for all the gifts.  As I got older and my belief in Santa changed, I still put out the snack and the letter became more personal.  I always anticipated the letter that “Santa” wrote back and left for me to open the next morning.  It has been a nice little Daddy and Daughter tradition for 23 years (yes, I still wrote a letter to Santa and put out his snack last year!).  
Nathan’s Family: 
Nathan has been telling me a few of his favorite Christmas traditions, and I enjoy hearing every second of it.  He comes from a slightly bigger family than me—he has 2 brothers and 1 sister, so the tales are twice as fun!
  • One of his most favorite things at Christmas time was shaking the presents and trying to guess what was inside.  He tells me that the kids used to wait outside the door while his mom and dad wrapped presents.  They would bring them down to put them under the Christmas tree and that’s when the shaking began!  Nathan must have mastered this skill over the years, because he is really good at guessing what’s inside!
  • Another family tradition of his was making peanut butter balls.  We did this just last week, and he told me how his mom used to let the kids “dip” the balls in the chocolate with toothpicks (by the way, it makes it much easier, and less messy!).
  •  And, last but not least, Nathan’s all-time favorite Christmas tradition is watching It’s a Wonderful Life, which I have fallen in love with too.
    Although both of our families had different traditions growing up, there is one thing that remained the same in both households—the telling of Jesus’ birth, read on Christmas morning by our Dad’s.  This is one we’re going to continue and one we both hold dear.

    Along with the Christmas story, Nathan and I have also started a new tradition for our family.  We love board games and card games, so we’ve decided each year we’ll purchase a new game for us to enjoy.  This year, we purchased the card game Monopoly Deal and boy is it fun!  We played last night and Nathan enjoyed winning.

    What are some of your family Christmas traditions?  I’d love to hear!


    1. We have started a few traditions this year with the girls. Christmas crafts, our elves, and decorating the house.
      What fun!
      We are going to miss you all this year - wished you all could be at Granny's. Wishing you a Very Merry Christmas.

    2. 1)Since Corey and I have been dating, we watch the movie Elf while decorating the tree. 2)My sister and I sleep in her room Christmas Eve after Midnight Mass and watch A Christmas Story until we fall asleep. 3)My sister and I also get up early, even this year, and bring our stockings that my mom still fills up, up to my parents' room and wake up my Dad by showing him what Santa brought us.

      Have a Merry Christmas!


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