Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

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Thirteen Christmas Traditions My Family Has (or Had in the Past!)
1. Our whole family loves to sing, so we always go Christmas caroling with the church. Love it, love it. It's so nice to spread Christmas cheer to those who aren't able to get out and enjoy the season.
2. For as long as I can remember I've been a part of the Christmas play or cantata at my church. I even wrote a few of the plays. This is something most of my family takes part in as well. It's fun to see it all come together after all the practice.
3. On Christmas Eve we all go to my Grandma and Grandpa Cockman's house. These are my mom's parents. The family on that side is huge (Mom has 2 brothers and 4 sisters. Plus all of their kids which comes to 16 grandkids in all, plus the grandkids children which stands at 3 right now, plus all the spouses/boyfriends/girlfriends. Just put it this way, there are a LOT of people there. But we always have a fun time catching up with each other.)
4. Sometime on Christmas Eve my brother and I get together with our cousins Scott, Tracy, Will and Chris to do our gift exchange and to watch, "One More Sleep" better known to the rest of the world as "The Muppet's Christmas Carol."
5. When we were younger and still lived at home, my sister and I shared a room. My brother had his own room because he was a boy (bum!) But on Christmas Eve mom always made him sleep in our room because he was sneaky, and he would try to get a peek at the presents.
6. When we'd wake up on Christmas morning we'd all sit there and talk about what we thought we'd gotten. The rule was we had to wait until at least 5 to wake our parents. As soon as the clock struck five we would all yell together, "Mama, Daddy, wake up. IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!"
7. Mom always passed out the gifts. Basically because she was the only one who knew who was supposed to get what. See she'd write names on the packages in tiny print where no one could see it. We spent the weeks before Christmas trying to find our names written on the packages. Sometimes even she couldn't find where she'd put the name on Christmas morning, and she'd give the gift to the wrong one of us. But it just made for more Christmas laughs.
8. After we had opened all of our gifts, mom and dad would open their gifts to each other. Of course they always said, "I told you not to get me anything." But they always appreciated the gifts.
9. After all the gift giving hullabaloo was over, mom would cook breakfast while we cleaned up all the wrapping paper and put our new stuff in some semblance of order. She usually made fried tenderloin and eggs and biscuits. YUMMY!
10. Dinner has always been at my Grandma and Grandpa Smith's on Christmas day. Between 12 and 1. A huge group of us gather there as well. And lots of laughs are had as we retell stories on one of my aunts and uncles, like the time my uncle went hunting in WHITE jeans, or the time my aunt sat on the porch swing and it just collapsed. Then we all get calm, and my grandpa (who is also my pastor) reads the Christmas story.
11. Christmas afternoon my dad and my brother always go hunting together, usually with my Uncle Joel, my dad's brother.
12. Mom and I usually watch Christmas movies and just veg out watching the Christmas tree.
13. Then we have Christmas at mom and dad's house when my sister Crystal and her husband RJ join us with their two little ones Raegan and Trace. It's so fun to watch little ones open up their gifts. Mom has passed the gift handing out onto me, and she has started using gift labels, but I miss the days of searching for my name hiddens somewhere in the Christmas writing on the paper!

What are some of your family traditions on Christmas? Whatever they are, I hope you enjoy the Christmas season, and take the time to think about the true reason for the season, Christ!

Merry Christmas everybody!!


JAM said...

Heather, this sounds awesome. It's the little details like your mother writing the name on the presents in a secret location, etc., that makes for great memories.

In the ten years we've been in Florida, our church has had a Christmas Eve service with only Christ related songs. They go in order of when the song takes place, and end up telling the Christmas story in song. Love it. It's solemn and beautiful and fun too.

Merry Christmas and God bless you and your family.

Jessie said...

Great list! Traditions are so important. My mom used to wrap each kids gifts in one type of paper. We each had a different kind so there was no mix-ups.

Laura said...

wonderful! things like these make for wonderful christmas memories. thanks for visiting my tt this week. 2 cents said...

Sounds like alot of great traditions!!

Thanks for stopping by!!

BeccaLynn said...

Your family really knows how to do Christmas right. Merry Christmas!

Melissa said...

You have some very lovely traditions. I miss the big family get togethers of my youth. Now that all but one of my grandparents has passed, they just don't happen as frequently.

Merry Christmas!

Peggy said...

Merry Christmas and a very blessed new year wish for you

Shelley said...

I thought we were the only crazy people who got up at 5 to open their gifts! My kids were upset because they somehow overslept this year and didn't open their gift until 6:30, and that was because WE woke THEM up.