Christmas Traditions have always been important in our lives. When I was a little girl, some of our traditions included having a Birthday cake on Christmas eve for my dad. My mom always tried to keep his birthday an important occasion for him. Other traditions included an orange in the toe of our sock and the rest of the sock being filled with hard tack candy and nuts. To take a little of the edge off our anticipation, we were allowed to open one gift on Christmas eve. We always went to Grandma Robinson's for Christmas dinner. After dinner was over, we opened our gifts from Grandma. She usually gave us underwear or socks. My mom liked to make peanut brittle and carmels.
Vic remembers spending Christmas eve with his Grandpa & Grandma Cozzens. There were 5 families - grandma & grandpa Cozzens and 4 of their children that all lived by each other. They all got together for gift giving and singing on Christmas Eve. They all had Christmas dinner separately in their own homes.
When we started raising our family, we started a few traditions of our own. We continued the tradition of having an orange in the toe of our socks and took away the candy and nuts (too messy). We had Christmas dinner with my parents because they lived close. We sometimes had it at their house and sometimes at our house. One year when Gene was little, we did make it to Montana and shared Christmas with the Baldwin family. After Vic's dad retired, he spent a few Christmases with us here in Idaho. Other traditions included setting up the nativity on the first Monday of December, driving around to see the lights on the last Monday before Christmas, and we "drew Buddy names" because the kids only had to buy one gift instead of a gift for each of their brothers and sister. We made carmels & fudge and peanut clusters for my dad's birthday.
When our boys were on missions, we tried to send a chocolate orange (the real ones would spoil).
As our kids started getting older and getting married, our traditions have changed to keep up with the kids. We still have a Christmas dinner - mostly on Christmas eve so the kids can have Christmas to set their own traditions. The kids still draw "Buddy names" so they buy a nicer gift for one of their siblings. The biggest change has been for Vic and I. We still hang up the socks and Santa puts an orange in it. We still put up the nativity and drive around and see the lights. In 2011 we started a new tradition. Chris and Chantelle invited us to spend the night. We did it a week before because they spent Christmas with the Johnson family in Utah. But we pretended it was Christmas eve. We woke up to gift opening with their family and a nice Christmas dinner.
This year Kyle and Kat invited us to spend the night. We had a wonderful Christmas eve dinner with their family and Chris & Chantelle. We watched the girls open their Christmas pajamas on Christmas eve and sang songs. We hung our stockings alongside Kyle's family stockings and Santa found us there. There were chocolate oranges in the toe. The next morning was very nice as we watched their family as we all opened gifts and enjoyed the fun. We had Cinnamon rolls & later a nice crock pot casserole and played games. We definately enjoy this new tradition of spending it with our kids. Christmas is more exciting with kids around and we had a great time this year.
We left Kyle's house and spent a few hours with Chris, Chantelle & Chelsea - mostly putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
Unfortunately, I am having trouble getting pictures to load. So check out Kat's blog - there are plenty of great shots there.
Dad and I had our share of gifts too. The only thing dad wanted was socks so that is what he got. He gave me sweaters. We also gave each other a record player, CD player, cassette player.
Thanks to all those who gave us gifts:
Book of Mormon commentarys and a dutch oven cookbook from Kyle and Kat
Kathy got an oven mitt & glass stick ons from Ashley and Kaite
Vic got an insulated cup and a caribineer hook from Ashley and Kaite
Hickory Farms meat and cheese from Chris and Chantelle
Spot it game for Vic from Devin and Julie
"The Ugliest Sweater" book for Kathy from Devin and Julie
Devin and Julie also sent peanut clusters because it was my dad's 100th birthday
Fruit breads and hot chocolate from Mahon and Cindy
Sugar free candy for Vic from Missy and Briant
A jigsaw puzzle - a collage of family pictures for Kathy from Missy and Briant
Hazen and Guila story telling disk from Pam
We all had a great time together. Thanks to all!!!
The most important part of Christmas is remembering Christ's birth. We have read the nativity story from the time we were children, through the time we read it to our children and now we watch as our children read it to our grandchildren. Merry Christmas Jesus!