Friday, November 28, 2014

Day Twenty-Eight: Thankful for Traditions

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  I know I did.  It was so great having P-Momma, her son, and her granddaughter here with us.  I was very proud of myself and how I managed to get all the food prepared and cooked, and I didn't stress about a single thing.  I timed everything out perfectly, and was able to sit and chat in between prep and cooking.

The food was absolutely delicious.  For the first time ever, I decided to put all of the food on the table and we did the whole "pass the _____" ordeal.  What we usually do is set all the food up in the kitchen, and then people line up and fix their plates before heading to the table.  But this year, I loved the idea of everyone sitting at the table and getting their food at the same time.  While it was a good idea, my table just isn't big enough for eight people and all the food.  It was a little awkward, but we made it work and I was happy with the fact that we all got to visit and chat during our dinner.

Once dinner was over, P-Momma helped me clean up the kitchen and my house was back to normal in no time.  All the dishes, leftovers, and mess were cleaned up and Thanksgiving was over.  P-Momma had to leave shortly after, so once they were gone, I decided it was nap time.  I took a great nap, and when I woke up the kids were ready to get our Christmas tradition underway.

Which brings me to my thankfulness for today.  Today, I am thankful for my family's traditions.  The traditions I've carried with me my whole life, and the new ones that have been created in the past couple of years.  Each year we try and change something up or add a new tradition, but for the most part we have a tradition system in place that just doesn't get messed with.

Thanksgiving Day is the gateway in to the Christmas season.  Once the Thanksgiving feast is over, it's time to start preparing for Christmas.  In our house, that consists of decorating the house and then sitting down and watching our first Christmas movie of the year.  Each year, I've always been the one to put up the tree, and the kids help me decorate it.  Last night, Peanut and Butter decided they wanted to put up the tree and then Jelly and I decorated it while Peanut and Butter strung up lights around the living room.

Our tree is a beautiful tree, and I love colorful lights and lots of colorful garland.  Peanut has been trying to talk me in to giving up all of the different colors and going with a tree color theme, but I'm not budging.  The color is just one thing I won't give up.  Our tree is also decorated in all of the handmade ornaments the kids have made me over the years.  I have tons of hand-print reindeer, picture ornaments, and hand-crafted goodies all over the tree.  I refuse to let go of any of the little ornaments they've made, and I cherish the fact that I've been using them to decorate the tree for over ten years.  My hope is that one day I'll add ornaments that my grandkids make me.

Once the tree and decorations were up, we sat down and watched one of our favorite Christmas movies: Elf.  We all snuggled up under blankets in the living room and enjoyed the movie together.  It's a rare treat in my house, but a sacred tradition.  My kids don't spend much time with me in the living room, anymore, as they are too busy with their video games or laptops in their bedrooms.  So, when I do get my Christmas miracle, I cherish each minute.

Now that the Christmas season is upon us, we'll spend each weekend between now and Christmas watching a Christmas movie together.  One of those nights we'll make popcorn, another we'll bake some cookies, another we'll enjoy hot chocolate and marshmallows.  Each movie night being a little different.  Again, a tradition I enjoy very much.

On Monday, the kids will open the first window of their advent calendars.  Advent calendars are a tradition I have grown up with.  Not a Christmas went by without opening up a little door between the first of December and December 25th and getting out a little piece of chocolate.  I have the same tradition for my children, and they enjoy it.

This Christmas, we're going to have plenty of opportunities to add some new traditions to our lineup.  In years past, we've always gone to my parents' house on Christmas Day, but that won't be happening this year.  We'll do Christmas Eve with P-Momma, like always, and then we'll be spending the day at our house for Christmas.  My plan is to do a lot of baking and spending the day playing with the kids and their new toys.

As sad as it may seem that I'm no longer carrying on a tradition of spending time with my parents at Christmas time, I'm very excited to be enjoying the day with my children.  With as many not-so-nice things I could say about my mother, I will say that my parents always made Christmas special in our house.  I have always tried to do the same for my children.  And this year, I just get to make it that much more special by being with them and making sure we have a fabulous day.  We'll bake, we'll cook, we'll eat, we'll play, and we'll love every minute of it.

So, today, I'm thankful for all of the wonderful traditions I get to have with my family.  I'm thankful that I feel so blessed and happy this time of year.  I'm thankful that I can enjoy the happiness that my kids' bring me, and it's this time of year that I am reminded that no matter what happens, I will ALWAYS be there for my kids.  NO. MATTER. WHAT.

My kids and the time we spend together mean everything to me, and I will do everything in my power to make sure that, at especially this time of year, I keep our traditions alive.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!


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