Tuesday, November 27, 2012

traditionally speaking.


i am not the most traditional girl you will ever meet. i love checking out the newest trends,  and i am all about thinking outside of the box, sometimes pushing the envelope a little further than necessary. but when it comes to christmas and the traditions my family has set from as far back as i can remember start to make their appearances during the holiday season, you can forget about the latest trends, boxes or the pushing of envelopes.

once the thanksgiving turkeys and pumpkins have been put away, you can expect our family to start pulling out the christmas decorations from the attic and playing the Christmas music around the house or on the car radio. the christmas tree with its ornaments (the ones where mom had each of us girls pick out one ornament to represent the year - and the funniest, cutest, and weirdest stories come from each of them, i promise you!)  and it's blinking lights, red and green dining room table cloth, the ceramic manager scene set with baby Jesus in hiding until Christmas morning, the nutcracker soldiers, and all of the other festive decor immediately graces our living room. and no one can forget dad and mom's labor over the bright, white lights that are lovingly wrapped around nearly every single tree trunk and bush of our front yard. and to say that we wait a day or two after thanksgiving to put up the Christmas decorations would be nothing short of a family offense.

and come Christmas eve and Christmas day, when the entire family is together, we have our own string of traditions that carry as far back as to when i was a little girl. we share many of the same traditions that you share - driving around town to look at the Christmas lights, sharing a Christmas dinner together, Christmas church service, reading the Christmas story before opening presents - and some not like yours - camping out in the living room with our mattresses and sleeping bags, watching the Home Alone movies only on Christmas day (the dvds get locked away for the next 364 days after that), and opening presents at midnight.

so today i sat in our living room, admiring the tree and drinking my mug of hot chocolate, i felt so happy and even more so grateful - grateful for traditions that we can return to every single year as a family.  i believe that traditions we share with those we love brings us back to a place that is constant and unchanging. even though the world around us is always on the move for the latest and greatest, there are a few things in this world that we can hold on to and if we have the chance to hold on to them (like traditions), we should hold on to them tightly and never let them go.

what about you, friend? what traditions have you held on to with your family or friends? or maybe a new tradition you might be kick-starting this year?


much love.
{happy wednesday, friend.}

21 comments:

  1. every year i have to go around and look at lights, its tradition. my family doesn't really do it anymore so me and my boyfriend do it now :)

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  2. what a beautiful tree! and what fun memories :) i just got married so right now we don't have any traditions but we are working on creating some, starting this year!

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  3. Love the bokeh in the hot cocoa picture!!

    kianabates.blogspot.com

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  4. My traditions are kind of in limbo as my family changes. I kind of miss them but look forward to making my own.

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  5. aw....homesick. missing ya'll!

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  6. great traditions! we go to church on Christmas eve. for the last few years my mom has made cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning! they are SOO good!

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  7. GREAT pictures girl!! we haven't put up our tree yet!! ahh!!

    xo,
    Sandy
    Sandy a la Mode

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  8. Beautiful photo!

    We're still playing with our traditions, not sure which ones are sticking. Eight years and you'd think we'd have some, huh?

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  9. My mom had my brothers and me each pick an ornament out every year, too!!! :) Aww I just love traditions, especially around the holidays. They're important!! (I mean, haven't you seen "Fiddler on the Roof"?? "tradition!!!") Also, I LOVE that baby Jesus is in hiding until Christmas morning! How sweet! I might have to steal that one! ;)
    On a different note, this post made me cry. Your words about traditions were just so on-point, girl. I LOVE what you said: they "bring us back to a place that is constant and unchanging." YES. OH, girl, you're amazing.

    xo

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  10. I love the idea of having an ornament that represents the year! Every year my mum gets protective over the tree and she spends all day and night making it look perfect, we don't really get a look in lol It does always look amazing though.

    Every Christmas we usually go Ice Skating and into London to see the lights but myh favourite is this little Santa my mum has that she puts in the living room every year, I always feel Christmassy when thats out!

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  11. I love the camping out in the living room watching the Home Alone films!! That sounds like so much fun!!
    Seeing the holiday lights around the neighborhood is one of my favorite things to do on Christmas Eve!! I can not wait!! :)

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  12. two of my favorite traditions that we have is having Chines food on Christmas Eve with friends. SOO MUCH fun. and soo yummy :)
    Then my other favorite is we read the bible before we open gifts. Such a cool thing that we do, it just remindes us the real reason before we jump into opening gifts :P

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  13. Jon and I always have our own Thanksgiving the Thursday before Thanksgiving, bc we all know people go ccrazy on Thanksgiving! As for Christmas, we are excited to start traditions this year with our sweet little niece/goddaughter!

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  14. This post makes me smile so much! It reminds me a lot of my family. The personal ornaments for everyone, decorating right after Thanksgiving, putting lights up outside...it's just so wonderful. Our funky traditions are about food though! We eat hamburgers on Christmas eve and then fry a turkey on Christmas day and have our more traditional dinner then. Wouldn't have it any other way. :)

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  15. We have so many traditions as well! We never simply dive into the presents - we go around the room from youngest to oldest & each person opens one present at a time. We get our tree the day after Thanksgiving, but we don't decorate it until a week or two later. We always get a ham on Christmas Eve, and go to the church service that evening. And I could go on...ha! :)

    hugs,
    ~bree

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  16. I love traditions and your tree looks so swoonworthy:) Yay to the festive season. Kisses, sweetie.

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  17. Both of those pictures are GORGEOUS! This is my first Christmas out of college, living on my own, and not having an entire month of "Christmas break" to go home to my family, so I'm sure it will be different, but I'm excited to see what traditions stay... and make some new ones with my fiancé (we're getting married 5 days after Christmas!)

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  18. My mom makes the most delicious cookies!!! :)

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  19. I love reading about Christmas traditions! They definitely put me in the holiday spirit.

    Some of my family's Christmas traditions include waiting for my dad to drink his mug (or two) of coffee, singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, eating cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and then opening presents.

    During December we also celebrate Stocking Day (aka St. Nicholas Day) as well. Oh, and you can't forget Advent + playing Christmas Carols with my sisters on our instruments!

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  20. gotta love christmas traditions! i love the home alone one. it seems so appropriate! our big tradition is going to waffle house at some point on christmas day

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  21. We have many, making cookies for friends and neighbors, making a birthday cake for jesus. and my daughter and I go to the nutcracker every year.

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