Sunday, October 11, 2009

Christmas Memories and Traditions

Here we are in Week Two of Red Writing's 12 Weeks of Christmas - Christmas Memories and Traditions!

I think one of my favorite traditions, with lots of memories, is our tree decorating party. All of my growing up years, my parents and my sister and I would go out one night to several Christmas tree lots to find our tree. Then a day or two later we had our tree-decorating party. We always had some food and Christmas music to go along with the evening. My dad always put the lights on the tree first, then we would all decorate it together. My mom always made this night feel like such a big deal for all of us.

So when my husband and I got married, I carried on this tradition.

Every year my husband and I and all three kids go shopping for our main tree together. (This is for our main, real tree - I do put up other trees around the house.) And the night we decorate it, we have an assortment of party foods. This is not hard - I buy things from Sams or Costco like those little frozen quiches, taquitos, deli spiral roll-ups, etc. I try to get 3-5 different non-sweet finger foods. And I get 1-2 sweet items that are ready to go. I do make a batch of fudge. Because fudge is required for your tree-decorating party! I put all these finger foods out on the coffee table on pretty Christmas platters. And we have Christmas music playing.
My hubby puts the lights on the tree. I put the beads or garland, with one of my daughters helping. Then hubby and I watch the kids put on all the decorations. Then we all just sit and eat and look at the pretty tree and talk. It's just always a perfect night.

Every year since they were born we have let the kids pick out at least one new ornament to buy. They range from Disney characters, to sports-themed, to traditional, to really pretty blown-glass. It's fun to see all of their interests over the years displayed in their choices. We have marked all of their ornaments with their initials and the year they purchased them. When they move out, they can take all their ornaments with them for their trees.
It is really fun to watch them sorting through all the ornaments so that each child ends up with a pile of their own ornaments to hang on the tree. They have sooo much fun looking for all of their ornaments from over the years - I highly recommend this tradition! Your kids will love it!
Ok, thinking about that night really puts me in the Christmas mood! I'm ready to start decorating! Aren't you?
Shannon

For more Christmas Memories and Traditions, go to Red Writing's -

15 comments:

Red Writing said...

This is such a lovely tradition. I already read about another tradition involving a real Christmas tree...now I really really want one. May have to look into that for this year.

When did you start doing the party with your kids--how old were they?

Jayne said...

How fun it is to read about your traditions on your blog and see them all so clearly in real-time! Can't wait to see what this Christmas holds for our family!!
Love,
Mommy

Sweet TN Biscuits said...

love it! I will for sure have to start this tradition this year. my husband will be thrilled that food is involved !! Thanks

Chantel said...

I used to go to a tree decorating party at my grandmother's, but now live in a different state, and miss the party so much. I think I'll have to start doing it on my own with my family! You made me realize how much I miss it!

{ L } said...

I've never had a tree decorating party but now I want to after reading this! :) This sounds so fun and special.

Carrie said...

I love the idea of making it a "finger food" dinner party to decorate the tree! My kids would totally go for that!

Maureen said...

I love tree trimming parties. We held one, many years ago for my husband's fellow grad students. One fellow, Rajeev, had just come from India. He loved the decorations. Chritmas was pretty much ignored in India. He was fascinated by snow too(he had never seen it before). It was fun to see his reactions to the whole season.

Christine said...

A tree decorating party?! I've always wanted to do that but my children aren't as enthusiastic as I am about decorating the tree! The older ones, anyway! lol Maybe I'll try it again with the younger ones!

laterg8r said...

i like the idea of letting them pick out their own ornament each year - very cool :D

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

What great traditions & memories. My mom started giving us an ornament each Christmas when I was a kid. She gave them to us as we left home. They are some of my most favorite ornaments. I have done the same thing for my son & once I was remarried, I do the same for my 2 step sons as well. It is a great tradition.

Jenny said...

We do the ornaments, too, and your blog header just made my heart jump with a little Christmas-y jolt! Thank you for sharing.

April but some call me Prilyy said...

we do the same thing! awsomeness!

Shellie said...

Sweet memories! Do you remember the Christmas that your blue oven pan exploded on your kitchen cabinet sending glass shards into much of your party food, and that same year my two dogs ate ALL of our tree trimming party foods that were on my coffee table - including the stuffed jalapeno peppers!! That was a funny year!! ;) Loved reading your post

Shellie

Shannon @ Silver Trappings said...

Oh, yes, Shellie! I do remember that. We had very little food left that wasn't covered in glass shards!

And EVERY year that I am putting our party food on the coffee table I think about your dogs eating all of your party food! So funny!

Girly Stuff said...

I love the tradition! I will probably do it!