When I was a child we were very poor in everything except family. I have a ton of family. When I tell people we were poor they never really get how poor so I will just say that it was bad. My mom used to try to set aside a little bit each week to buy a gift all year long so that my three sisters and I could have a Christmas. Obviously we never got much but she tried her very best. Despite the fact that we never had much, I always loved the holidays. They are still my favorite time of the year except now its because I get to gorge myself on sweets and family dinners. I am joking. Mostly. I really love this time of year because I love my traditions. They haven't changed much in 28 years and I hope they do not ever have to. I have always went to my Nanny's house on Christmas Eve to help her cook. We lost her last year before Thanksgiving so I guess I wont be able to pass that on down to my daughter. There are a ton more though to give to my children.
One of my favorite holiday traditions is decorating. My family always had a great tree and we would gather together to put everything on it. Christmas lights are like magic. Now that my kids are old enough we let them decide on all the decorations. My favorite thing that we did not have back then are the LED Christmas Lights. The lights we had as a kid were constantly having to be replaced and my father would slowly go through each light before finding the one that needed to be taken out. LED lights save energy and last much longer and can be bought online so that you can get exactly what colors and lengths you want. Watching my dad curse out Christmas lights was pretty funny though. I doubt my husband could handle it. My kids always like to look online for great outdoor light designs so that we can fail miserably at recreating them.
We also always go to my Memaws house to make candy. We make peanut butter fudge, divinity, and potato candy every year. We also draw names so that everyone can be sure to get something during these bad economic times. I have like 30 cousins so we pretty much have to. My friend Merissa has a great tradtion that I love at her house. It is a Christmas family gift exchange. It reminds me that every family should have something special that is just for them. Something that even when you are grown up, you want to remember and have always.
I am glad I am able to share some of these traditions with my children. Do you have any holiday traditions? Do you decorate as a family?