Thursday, December 18, 2008

I LOVE Christmas traditions...

Problem is, I can't get any to stick for more than 30 seconds.

I have grand ideas, dreams really (or maybe delusions), of a Christmas filled with meaningful traditions that bring us closer to what this season is all about--LOVE, JOY, PEACE. Sometimes we hit love; we have moments of joy; but we rarely experience peace.

It seems that everything just seems thrown together. I think a lot about how I want things to go, but I live a real life (unlike in my dreams) and things don't happen the way I hope they will. I would love to have traditions that build my family and bring us together without losing my mind.

Having said that, we do have one tradition that seems to stick in our family. And mostly because it revolves around sugar: Gingerbread (well, graham cracker) houses.

We seem to do it every year. We do it the way my family (and Yamashitas) did it, not the way the Johnsons did it (much to Larry's chagrin). I just can't get into real gingerbread. (I know, I know, it is not just about me.) He lights up when he tells stories of his mom's waxed paper patterns and crushed-hard-candy-stained-glass-windows. Hopefully, I will be able to do that for him some day. But for now, it is all about simple and how much candy my kids can cement to some graham crackers. Maybe I'll become Martha Stewart-Johnson later in life (yeah, right).

This year, Auntie Nikki helped Lauren make a princess castle that Lauren promptly called "AWESOOOOOOME." William made a split level roof house that had a perfect spot for Santa and his sleigh (and Santa guards, and a fence, and a garage for extra candy--not even glued down, just a repository). Hadland "borrowed" Uncle Treas' tallest-spire creation to add to his ALCATRAZ. Basically it was his creative answer to all the broken graham crackers (he just piled them up on top of each other and glued them together in a haphazard fashion). He worked longer than anyone and has become this generation's answer to Uncle Nathan--candy junky extraordinaire.

I'm going to post this and add in pictures as soon as I can.

But back to the initial question--how have you incorporated traditions (I'm not being picky here--just ANY tradition will do) into your holidays? What has worked? What hasn't? What have you learned to do without and what can you not live without? I would LOVE some help on this one.


Melissa Basua said...

Well, you've seen my blog! What more can I say, I am a tradition junkie! I love doing things every year to see how it changes with the kids. I think I "need " to do every thing with them. Thank goodness I have lots of help nearby!!
Can't wait to see the pictures!

TM CLAN said...

Hands down my favorite tradition is the 12 days of Christmas. We pray for the right family and anonymously drop of gifts up until Christmas. I also like the new one we picked up this year about wrapping the baby Jesus from each of our nativity sets until Christmas morning and unwrap Him first. And, oh, I love Melissa Basua's pickle one too. Merry Christmas!! (I gave up sending Christmas cards until I get a better handle on this season.)

Thunell Family said...

What are you talking ARE Melanie Johnson Stewart?! Caroling is a favorite around here, baking goodies (which you are already a pro), having a Christmas devotional Christms eve, hiding the kid's last present around the house, playing Christmas music around the clock, at night when they go to bed read different Christmas stories and friend, I know you already do these things. Relax! (I know, I know I could use this advice myself). You always have such a wonderful feeling in your home-the spirit of Christmas...that is a tradition. Love you.