Thursday, December 20, 2007

Our Holiday Traditions ~ Thursday Thirteen

Things have changed since I was a little girl and celebrated Christmas with my family. I married and now celebrate with my husband's family as well as my own. I would love to host a big Christmas gathering for my family but as of yet, that hasn't been possible. We've moved to Central Oregon and now traveling is required (of course, we do all of it as few family & friends wish to brave the ice/snow as they traverse the pass). Yet, perhaps the most difficult to overcome... my parents divorced in 2002. We are still grappling with how to accommodate everyone. As a result, some beloved traditions have been lost. Yet, I have also started new ones.

1. Sending out Christmas cards with a DVD of favorite photos to share our many adventures with friends & family.

2. Putting up our tree and decorating the house the weekend following Thanksgiving.

3. Taking a annual family photo (either in a studio or at home).

4. Having Breakfast with Santa at the Pine Tavern Restaurant.

5. Celebrating Christmas - just the four of us - the night before we depart for the coast to see friends & family. Preferably, I would like to do this on Christmas Eve as is tradition in Norway (and as I did as a child) but circumstances prevent this and the specific date isn't critical. I prepare a traditional Norwegian Christmas menu ... roast pork with gingerbread glaze, lefse, pickled herring, etc.

6. Creating handmade gifts for friends and family. I started this in 2003 and have been gradually giving fewer store-bought gifts. I enjoy spending the time crafting with my daughter (my son is just now beginning to show interest) and I feel the gifts are more meaningful. I of course try my best to select projects I think the recipient will truly enjoy.

7. My daughter has also taken up this tradition and has given her loved ones a handmade gift every year since she was two.

8. When I was little, Santa's arrival on Christmas was always magical. I haven't quite figured out how to make this happen for my two. Traveling makes this difficult. Any suggestions would be appreciated. :)

9. I tried to start a new tradition this year of eating by candlelight for our evening meal. DH doesn't like this very well so the kiddos and I do it on the nights he works late. Hopefully, he'll come around and enjoy it himself.

10. Another new tradition I plan to start this year is to eat a traditional Scandinavian breakfast on Christmas morning. I bought an aebleskiver pan and look forward to expanding my repertoire.

11. My Christmas wish list includes a set of clips for Christmas tree candles. They are mostly for appearance but I would light them on Christmas Eve for a short time. My mom did this when I was little and the tree never looked more beautiful. I also want to get a garland of little Norwegian flags to adorn the tree.

12. Maybe not so traditional for other families but true for ours... My FIL prepares prime rib on the 25th and we have a buffet of appetizers and finger foods at my SIL's on the 24th.

13. We drive out to Shore Acres to see the Christmas lights and enjoy hot cider and cookies as we listen to a choir sing Christmas carols.

Wishing you a Christmas warm with happiness and a new year filled with joy. Hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday season.

Merry Christmas!


  1. How wonderful. You seem to have it all together. Sorry about your parents' divorce. That always makes things more difficult. Have a great TT and Merry Christmas. :)

  2. Those sound like great traditions! My parents are divorced too. Now that we live to far away to visit it's easier. When I lived nearby I did Christmas at my mom's because my dad was the one that left. Still at 29 a whole decade later I'm ticked at him for that.

    Have a Merry Christmas!

    Possibly my worst, most unimaginative TT is up if you want to check it out. I was at a loss this week for what to write.

  3. I love your traditions. It seems that you and your family have a great time together and that's really what it is all about. I like your idea of making gifts. Those of us who celebrate Kwanzaa also believe that things you create have more value than things you just run to the store and pick up. Happy TT and have a blessed holiday season.

  4. Even though Im back from vacation and feeling blah, I took some time to post for my friends on my wordpress blog!

    ! Come take a look, and visit my cruise pictures! myspace/maydakmom

  5. Number 1 is a GREAT idea! And you know, I'm probably going to steal that from you for next year LOL

  6. I've only seen trees with candles in pictures. I bet they are absolutely beautiful!

    You have a wonderful, safe, and happy holiday too!

  7. Thank you for your kind words on my blog..!
    I like your Christmas traditions, so sweet!
    I like the idea to put family photos on a DVD and give to friends and family as a Christmas card :)
    Take care and have a merry X-mas!

  8. Scandinavian breakfast..yum.. some of my best friends are from Sweden/Norway!

    Wishing you and the family a Merry Christmas!

  9. Have a great Christmas and keep up the spirit : )

  10. Your DVD idea is phenomenal! You are so creative!


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