Holiday Traditions!

In honor of the upcoming holiday, I’m going to share with you three of my favorite Christmas traditions from my childhood.  Although everyone celebrates different holidays in different ways, my family is a Christmas family.  Here are three of my favorites, in no particular order:

  • Wrapping paper!

In order to keep my sister and me from peeking at presents, the gifts under the tree were never labeled.  Instead, gifts for the same person were wrapped in the same paper.  An even number of similarly sized gifts would show up under the tree, half in one paper and half in the other.  Trying to reason out or simply guess which paper was whose was always one of my favorite games before Christmas.  I didn’t want to peek; I just liked the puzzle of the paper.  We found out Christmas morning, when our stockings were outside our doors with everything inside wrapped to match.

  • Christmas countdowns

We had several ways to count down to Christmas: a nativity scene we made in preschool (“On the 7th, add a sheep”), the neat Beary Merry Christmas wall hanging (“19: He looked in the attic”), the fabric tree (add an ornament every day) and, every once in a while, chocolate.  Counting down helped to build the anticipation while (I suspect) kept down the whines of “is it Christmas yet?”

  • Listing gifts

My parents were always generous at Christmas.  After we had moved our treasure to our bedrooms and had breakfast, Mom would always break out the paper and pens.  She’d tell us how many gifts we had gotten from them (not counting from each other or other relatives) and we would have to list them without looking at the piles.  Again, something fun that made my brain work and also helped me to be more thankful for what I received.  Every year I forgot at least one gift, usually something small or unexpected, and we’d have to rattle off the lists to Mom to see what we’d missed.

What are your favorite holiday traditions from your childhood?


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. YerMom
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 08:31:20

    Thanks for this! Love you!


  2. Tammy
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 20:25:53

    One year my mom didn’t put tags on either but somewhere I think wrote initials. Well then she got confused and of course we didn’t get the right gifts as I opened a package of boys underwear. 🙂

    I love that tradition of items being wrapped in different paper.


  3. jannatwrites
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 23:33:35

    I like the different wrapping paper idea.

    My brother and I were obsessed with presents under the tree. My parents didn’t want us to guess what was in a box just by shaking it (lets face it, it’s not hard to guess when a sweater is in a shirt box.) Their solution was to add miscellaneous items to the boxes (such as bricks, bolts, nails or anything else they found that would throw off our guesses.) They also packed things in odd-sized boxes.


  4. Trackback: Christmas Alone « Butterflies and Dragons

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