I love Christmas. Growning up with a Mom whose birthday was Christmas Eve always made the wholemonth special. We had incredible traditions growing up and now that I'm on my own PB and I are trying to incorporate the ones that fit, and also creating some of our own. We also know that with the new addition next year, this year is kind of a "trial-run" and we are thrilled to be spending the holiday together finally (blizzards and trips home prevented us from having that last year...)
One thing we are doing this year is that we are keeping the gifts to stockings only. Growing up stockings were probably the most anticipted item. Mom knew just how to fill it with a mix of the practical (if I didn't get a years supply of q-tips I would be shocked) and fun (dvds, cds, earrings etc) in the HUGE stocking. Seriously this thing came up to my waist almost. Unfortunately my stocking met its' demise in Bulgaria when the car was stolen with everything in it but I'm so lucky to have the memories. No matter how big it was I could never figure out how to get everything back in it. I swear moms are just magical like that :)
This year PB and I have big stockings I picked up - they kinda match each other but are different colors. I'm looking forward to secretly filling it with the goodies I've been picking up along the way.
Another great tradition that we are continuing is Christmas Eve. I suppose it may have started because my mom was getting birthday presents that day, and how do you explain to small children the birthday/Christmas thing? All they want to know is why does mommy get to open presents but not me???? So, on Christmas Eve my sisters and I got certain gifts - every year the same thing. New pajamas so we looked so cute in the pictures the next day, a Christmas ornament to build into our collection so that when we all moved out we would have wonderful memories to hang on our trees, a Christmas book (more on this later) and either a stuffed animal or some kind of trinkety thing - depending on our age and what mom found that year.
The books were also cool - each night in December we three girls traded off. One got to pick the Christmas book to be read that night, one got to move the advent calendar (in those days it was a tree that had a different ornament to be hung on it each day, with the final day being the star at the top of the tree) and one got to sit in mom's lap when she read the book. That tradition flowed so easily and I have some of the best memories doing that. It will definitely be a tradition I continue with my children, and PB and I are even doing it this year. I can't wait :)