Blending Traditions (or Not)
Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:29 PM
How have you found ways, if any, to include traditions from both sides of the family? Or have you just dropped them all and started your own? Or?? Would love to hear about it, below, and please remember that your experience may help someone else!
Posted 15 December 2012 - 12:43 PM
We put our tree up mid-December and take it down January 2nd. Santa is wrapped and we did something between the 3 and the dozens. FBD and I always give each other a token gift because we wanted the boys to know that other people counted at Christmas also. We merged our traditions, just as we merged our religion and so many other things. This year we are adding in 2 children and will be merging their traditions with ours (Santa has a pot of coffee waiting on him and everybody makes everybody else a Christmas card on Christmas Eve and gives them out on Christmas morning). It is getting close and I am getting excited.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 01:18 PM
Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:31 PM
DH and I were raised completely differently. His family cut the tree together, after 5 Dec, and affixed white lights. His parents decorated with gorgeous blown glass balls and Angels after he went to bed on Christmas Eve. They topped their tree with a beautiful German Angel, we still use her, she oversees the crèche. We cut our trees also, and only decorate with white lights and top with stars. MIL gave me a horseshoe tree and we now have 14, one for each of us, with pretty and sentimental ornaments.
They had unwrapped gifts from Santa for DH, MIL, and FIL. PILs had no other family near. I wrap the gifts we give to everyone. My AC place unwrapped gifts from Santa under the tree, for themselves as well as GC. DH and I always give each other very nice gifts, unwrapped, under the tree, from Santa. PIL family did not do stockings, rather shoes on Dec 5, same for our family.
My GC and I have been working on homemade gifts for everyone. All year we’ve been knitting, painting ceramic plates (CC for cheap ceramics) and crèche sets, using clay to form up primitive Santas and snowmen, making paper, candles and jar o’ cookies.
My parents centered my holiday traditions on the Nutcracker, parade, tea, beautiful clothing, religious observance and food. My family did not “do” trees or gifts, none of that was a part of their tradition. Mom loved pretty tchotchkes and had many beautiful things behind gorgeous glass; some really were “Christmas ornaments”. I have all her lovelies, viewable, but mostly unused, in a breakfront. I do use mom’s “Christmas ornaments” as well as MILs German pretties, on our horseshoe trees.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:55 PM
Keep 'em coming, people! And hey, if you've had a problem compromising on this/that tradition, I hope you feel comfortable enough here to share that story, too. Or if a tradition changed - and then changed again. I know I've told this b4 but it's an example - Over the years, when I was growing up, my DM developed a tradition of writing a little rhyme or saying to go with each gift and having the recipient try to guess what it was b4 they opened it. We didn't do it for every present but DH LOVED the idea and really got into it. So by the time my kids were old enough to understand, we were doing it for everything except stocking stuffers! (Well, my ILs didn't but we did and so did DM.)
That was on Christmas Day. But, eventually, ODD and SIL started having us over on Christmas Eve, as I've often mentioned and we began doing a gift-exchange then. SIL felt the reading of sayings and the guessing made the event take much too long. And while ODD still enjoyed it, she was concerned b/c, until recently, they were epected to arrive at SIL's dad's home early enough the next day (or late the night b4) to be there Christmas morning. So now we don't do any poems of saying for a gift, unless there's something we really want to say. Frankly, IMO, as much as I enjoyed the custom, it's a relief not to have to think of a saying for all the gifts and write it on a piece of paper attached (even though DH came up with most of the ideas, guess who did all the writing and attaching?). And I think it's better for the GC, who really just want to get to their own presents, anyhow!
But that give me still another thought - How about ways in which an IL has impacted on your traditions, if any?
Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:00 PM
This method of wrapping has cropped up over the years, but always to a different person and only once per season.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:04 PM
We ride in a wagon into the snowy woods for bonfires, we have an Advent wreath, and we do other PIL favorites as well. We have a cowboy, dressed as Santa with chaps and a hat, ride up Christmas Eve with candy and citrus. Really, Christmas is "all about" my PIL family traditions!
Posted 15 December 2012 - 07:12 PM
I enjoyed baking cookies and sharing with friends, DD does this also.
Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:29 PM
DH & I decided to get a real tree this year. Its so pretty!! We bought it from a store. We have no set day to put the tree up, just whenever the mood strikes. I usually take the tree and inside decorations down the day after Christmas, outside lights down New year's Eve. I love Christmas decorations, but I get tired of all the festive colors. By the day after, I am so ready for life (and my house) to get back to normal!
Posted 15 December 2012 - 09:44 PM
Posted 16 December 2012 - 01:19 AM
Posted 16 December 2012 - 11:41 AM
Hope to hear more, everyone!
Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:17 PM
Posted 16 December 2012 - 02:31 PM
Jaci, I hope your parents were able to enjoy Christmas with all the putting up and taking down of the tree. It sounds exhausting!
Oh they did. Christmas was so simple back then. Our tree wasn't fancy or anything, just a little tree with a few lights & home made ornaments. I never remember mama getting stressed over Christmas. She did a lot of baking but she started really early and froze it until Christmas.
Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:10 PM
Most of the smaller traditions, to be honest, DH didn't pay attention to or doesn't remember from his being a kid. He's just not sentimental about that stuff. So he doesn't remember what his mom made for Christmas Eve dinner, for example, or whether they ever made cookies or gingerbread houses together, so all of those traditions for my kids are things I either started on my own or carried over from my own childhood.
Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:00 PM
DH’s parents started celebrating Christmas when they immigrated here, but the big Kahuna has always been Easter. So, during the first few years of our marriage, after trying to give equal time to both sides and feeling miserable, because we did not own the day, we set up a tradition of going to mass on Christmas Eve, staying home to open gifts and spend family time through the afternoon on Christmas, then going over to my parents (who live 5 minutes away) for the afternoon/evening. DH’s parents/BIL are always invited to come along. In return for a day that is heavily weighted in my favor, DH and his FOO are always given preference on Easter, even if their orthodox Easter falls on the same day as mine (and the kids).
That was our compromise, and it seems to work!
Posted 20 December 2012 - 02:35 PM
Posted 26 December 2012 - 01:47 PM
Posted 28 December 2012 - 03:09 PM