Thursday, December 11, 2008

Weekend Assignment #245: Holiday Traditions

Well, it's that time of year; time when children dream of getting every toy imaginable, parents freak out because they can't find that ONE toy of the season, and when way too much food and drink is consumed. You know I'm talking about Christmas, right? Anyway, Karen suggested we talk about holiday traditions.

Weekend Assignment #245: Some holiday traditions continue from generation to generation, some fall by the wayside, and some new ones arise as we strike out on our own, form new families and adapt to changes in culture and technology. How traditional are your holiday traditions, compared to decades past?

I've been thinking about this since I read Karen's post. We don't have any really special traditions, or at least not what most people would consider traditions.

The first one I came up with is the, "Crap, we need to get a tree" tradition.  No, we don't have one yet. I work a lot of weekends, so it makes it difficult to plan a day when we can all go. We get a real tree, but we don't go and chop our own down or anything. Usually we go to Home Depot, or a church that is close to where I work. Since it is already the 11th of December, I will probably end up picking one up after work this weekend. I hope they have some left! I figure we should be done decorating it around December 20th.

The other tradition is related to my work schedule as well. Since I work the holidays we have to plan when we are going to have the kids open presents. There has been at least one Christmas that Santa came on the 26th since I had to be at work at 7am on the 25th. The kids may be a little too old to get away with that now. These last two years I've been on vacation over Christmas so the scheduling has been much easier. Next year might require some work.

Still, it's not as bad as when I was a kid. Back then my parents had to figure out whose house we were going to be at on which day. I think we used to switch of going to my dad's and staying at my mom's on Christmas and Christmas eve. When I was in grade school Christmas eve with my mom usually meant going to my step-dad's sister's house, then coming home and opening presents that night. That was cool. Of course we wouldn't want to go to sleep. At least the parents got to sleep in later. Now, we go to my dad's house the Saturday after Thanksgiving for a holiday party. It works out really well. With kids involved now, trying to get to see all the grandparents in a two day span would be a nightmare.

I want to start a new holiday tradition of sleeping in on Christmas.  How do I convince the kids? Any other holiday traditions out there?


dc said...

The only tradition we had as kids was opening up our presents at midnight. The parents would wake us up and we'd spend a couple of hours opening presents then eventually heading back to sleep.
We have no traditions now though.

Mike said...

DC: I loved doing that as a kid. You got to beat your friends to all the cool new toys. I always had trouble going to sleep though. I was too excited to try out my remote control car or electronic football. :)

Suzanne said...

Hi Mike! My family tradition and we still do it now with our kids is opening gifts Christmas Eve and then opening stockings (gift from Santa) Christmas morning. I think my parents' strategy was to allow us to open Christmas Eve in hopes we would be more likely to sleep in Christmas morning. :-) And I sent your wife a text teasing her that your kids don't have a tree yet. Ours is up only because our oldest demanded it go up right after Thanksgiving. And its fake so its easier to get that done than buying one.

Dreamybee said...

Kahlua. Kahlua in the hot chocolate is how you convince your kids to sleep in on Christmas. (I don't have kids, so some of my theories might not be "right" but I try to help where I can.)

Mike said...

Suzanne: Now that you mention it, I remember waiting for Christmas morning for stockings sometimes, too. Good idea! Jenn told me you were razzing her.

Dreamybee: That might just work. Now I just need to find done Kahlua. :)

Karen Funk Blocher said...

I'm impressed that you manage to get the tree up and decorated before Christmas Eve, given the scheduling issue. Santa coming on the 26th? There are two ways to look at that: either that "all in one night" stuff is a slight exaggeration, or Santa has kindly rearranged his schedule for you. Nice of him, don't you think? ;)

Florinda said...

You have little kids. Unless you try a strategy like Suzanne mentioned in her comment, there's NO way you're sleeping in on Christmas morning. Once they hit their teens, though, they won't even want to get up early for opening presents, so you'll get your chance in a few years... :-).

Two words: "fake tree." Then you'll always HAVE the tree - it's just a matter of finding the time to set it up.

The holiday logistics of your childhood sound familiar - not from when I was a kid, but now that I'm a mom and stepmom :-).

Mike said...

Karen: It can be a pain some years. I'm getting the tree tomorrow, I swear! :) Santa is a pretty cool guy.

Florinda: Yeah, I know. A man can dream, right?

We used to have a fake tree but it's too hard to store, and always looked a mess when we took it out of the box. We tried a real tree a few years ago for the first time in my life. It was a nice change. I hope Quincy leaves it alone.