Thursday, December 9, 2010

Twiddling my thumbs...Traditions!

I have so much to blog about but have been SO busy ever since Thanksgiving. I keep meaning to make my blog private too, but haven't found the time for that either.

But I do find the time to look at all your blogs and comment on them -strange I know. Next week I should be able to find more time. But until then I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season. It's going to be over before we know it!

But for now I think I will blog about something that doesn't need to be blogged about. Christmas traditions!!! One of my other friends made a list on her blog so I thought that would be fun to do. Now any of you who know me or my family know that the Leybas' are ALL about traditions. Poor Mason was thrown into all of it that first year. But some are old traditions and some are new. Either way, here are some of mine:

Decorating the Day After Thanksgiving: I know lots of people do this, but when I was little my dad and I would always put up the Christmas lights outside. Then that night we would have the big lighting of them. Those are some of my favorite memories with him. Well I have carried on that tradition, but now I do the whole house too. So fun - plus that way you get to enjoy the decorations longer!

12 Days of Christmas: When we were younger my family would always pick a family that we knew who was struggling financially or emotionally that season and doorbell ditch them the 12 nights leading up to Christmas. For each night whatever number it was we would leave something with that amount. For example night 1- 1 cheeseball, night 2 - 2 candles, night 3 - 3 snowmen... etc. Then we would always leave a card from the 'Elves.' We never told the families who we were. Some of the years got pretty intense as the families would try and catch us. We even involved walkie-talkies sometimes. This made for great fun as well!!

Christmas Eve Tamales: Every Christmas Eve morning we would wake up to the smell of tamale meat cooking on the stove. I'm not sure why, but my dad always had us make tamales (I don't know if his father did that? I'll have to ask) that morning and then we would eat them as part of our Christmas dinner Christmas night. We have NEVER had a ham for Christmas dinner. Not that I'm complaining. I love my hispanic side.

Looking at Christmas Lights on Christmas Eve: Every Christmas Eve night all 4 Leybas children would pile into the Leybas mobile, turn on the Christmas music, and tour Casa Grande looking at the lights. Again, another cherished memory.

Pile on the Bed Christmas Morning: This tradition still continues whenever we have Christmas at my parents house. All the children have to meet on my parents bed before they are allowed to go downstairs and look at the presents. I guess when we were little my parents didn't want us ravaging the presents too quickly so we always had to meet in their room and listen to the Christmas story before opening gifts. Nowadays that makes for a lot of people on that bed!

Making Caramel Apples: Mason and I started this one 3 years ago. We crank up the Christmas music and make these delicious treats to hand out to loved ones.

Books Under the Tree: This one I have not done yet, but as soon as Boone is old enough - probably next year, I want to wrap up all my Christmas books and put them under the tree. Each night before he goes to bed, he can choose one book to open and have us read to him. I'm so excited to do this next year!

Christmas Card Picture: This is another Leybas tradition that I will continue. My family always took goofy Christmas card pictures to send out to loved ones. I still am drawn toward the goofy poses. I start thinking about what pose we are going to do in the summer sometimes!

Nativity: Every year Mason's family acts out the Christmas story. They read the story from the scriptures while the children and adults dress up and act it out. They sing songs and everything. It's really quite a nice night. This year Boone gets to be baby Jesus. I want to continue this tradition even when we don't go up to Utah for Christmas.

Pajamas Christmas Eve Night: I haven't done this but when my kids get older I will let them open some new pajamas to wear to bed that night. I actually kinda want to do that this year! Who doesn't love new pajamas??

Gingerbread Houses: Mason's family always has a gingerbread building contest. Now these aren't just normal gingerbread houses... they are gingerbread masterpieces... Let's see... the first year we made a gingerbread boathouse, then there was the gingerbread lighthouse, last year we made the gingerbread baseball stadium. His whole family gets together and each family makes one and his parents vote on their favorite. So fun!

Ok that's all for now. I know there are more... I just love traditions. I know that there will be many more created with my own little family. For now we are merging two different families and keeping some while discarding others. But thanks for taking the time to read.

What are some of your traditions?


Ken and Kristina said...

Mmmmm... I'm going to miss those caramel apples!! :(

Everts said...

Wow, that's a lot! How fun!! We have "Christmas Kickoff" and it consists of us getting out all the Christmas decorations, putting them up, including the tree and we listen to music, I make either a mini Christmas dinner or lots of snacks/ appetizers. Then we decorate Christmas cookies and watch a Christmas movie. We do it December 1st. Also, Christmas Eve night we read the story of Christ's birth.

Kimberly said...

I love all of these and I'm so glad you shared. My new favorite tradition is Christmas softball. We started this about 5 years ago I think and our family plays softball the Saturday after Christmas. It's a great time for a party because most of the holiday stress is gone and we can just hang out. I'm totally stealing the Christmas book idea, though.

Kara Miller said...

As kids, we used to sleep under the Christmas tree in our sleeping bags. We'd decorate the tree, watch a Christmas movie, then the siblings would camp out. It was SO FUN! Can't wait to carry that on with our kiddos :)

xantogal said...

One thing we do is get together with my dad's family on the Saturday before Christmas, and my mom's family on Christmas Eve. The parties have changed over the years, but I'm glad to see some of my family at least once a year!

M & E said...

Love traditions! Reading this is just what I needed to get my Christmas spirit in gear :) See you Friday!