Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Evolving Holiday Traditions

Continuing our countdown to Christmas-only 19 days left!

If you noticed, I count down to Christmas Eve, not Christmas Day because for our family-the best day of the year is December 24th, and despite evolving holiday traditions-it remains the most magical day of the year for me:)

When I was born, it was just my mom and I and from my very first Christmas at nine months old we started a holiday tradition of spending Christmas Eve together-shopping for last minute items and having a special lunch-just us...I looked forward to this one on one time with her every year. Then we were very fortunate to find my dad (one of the best men in the world) and our traditions changed a little...We still did our lunch just us, but then we also started hosting a Christmas Eve dinner at our home with grandmothers and any uncles or aunts who were alone for the holidays or who could smell my mom's honey glazed ham and were 'in the neighborhood' lol.

Then when I was seven, my brother came along and the holidays got even more fun. My mom and I still clung to our tradition of lunch and shopping though-time together that as I got older, I really cherished. One year, we discovered Pasta Plus-an Italian restaurant in downtown St. John's, Newfoundland and after one bite of their chicken and mushroom crepes, we knew it was our new Christmas Eve lunch spot. The banana split crepes for desert sealed the deal:)

We left Newfoundland when I was twenty and the holidays changed again, with less family and friends around, it was quieter, but we were all still together. Then my parents moved from BC to AB, and for the first time, I didn't get to spend the holidays with them, and my mom and I weren't able to do our holiday tradition...Worse Christmas Ever! I swore it would never happen again, so the following October, I packed up my life in BC (Everything I owned fit in the back of my pickup lol) and my mom flew over from AB and we drove back to AB together. Best Road Trip Ever:)

Now, I'm a mom and our holiday traditions have changed again. Now, because of how busy Christmas Eve can be...mom and I have moved our day out to the Saturday before Christmas and we include my beautiful baby boy. We go to West Edmonton Mall, have lunch, go to Fantasyland, visit Build A Bear for a new holiday stuffed toy. It's all about him and we LOVE it:)

And this year, we found a new tradition for just us-The Festival of Trees Fashion Show and Champagne luncheon. It is definitely our new 'just us' Christmas time together.

Despite the evolution of our holiday traditions, one thing remains the same-being together. It really is what makes each of the memories I have of those outings special. And I know as life changes even more...December 24th will always be my favorite day of the year:)

Enjoy every moment of the season!


12 comments:

  1. Jennifer! I so relate. My mother meant that much to me, too. Fashion show and champagne brunch sounds like a wonderful together-time. Isn't it interesting how our lives shift and change, but whatever happens around us, the love nucleus holds us together? As life goes on, it's magical to watch love expand and start to pull things and people toward us like the sun draws us. You're going to have one wonderful Christmas this year! And I'm so happy that you and our HH sisters are part of mine!

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    1. Thanks Muriel! I feel very fortunate to have such wonderful HH sisters too:) I was just telling my mom the other day that I feel like I know each of you through your posts:) Hopefully we will get to meet in person soon!

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  2. I loved your memories with your mom! Those crepes sound great but the tree show and champagne lunch sounds even better! Either way, you've kept your tradition with your mom and that is so precious and special!!

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    1. The crepes were super yummy! I do miss those. No matter where I try to get them, they are not the same as the ones at Pasta Plus:)

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  3. Love the traditions you and your family tried to keep even as you grew up and had a family of your own! We used to do the Five Days of Christmas when I was young. We each got our own day to plan a fun family activity. Sometimes it was going to a movie or playing a certain game together, but the best was getting to go downtown Chicago and look at the displays in the windows at Marshall Fields. Great memories. Thanks for sharing yours :)

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    1. The Five days of Christmas sounds fun Amy! Maybe as our son gets older we will have a Three Days of Christmas. Storefront window displays are always a great way to get into the holiday spirit!

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  4. When I was growing up Christmas meant making gifts for family and friends. My mom was a great seamstress and if she knew something my sister or I wanted to make, she could whip up a pattern. Or we did crafts, made candy to give away, or did other baked goods. When I got married and had a family I felt like it was a treat to buy gifts from stores and catalogues. Our Christmas was always Christmas eve, too, Jennifer. But my husband's family did Christmas morning, so we had to compromise when we visited with his family.

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    1. Hi Roz! Other than writing, we are not that creative and baking usually means we open a cake mix box, throw in a few eggs, drink champagne and orange juice (I know it sounds like we drink a lot-we don't lol) and wait for the smoke detector to go off lol:) But, I'd love to knit if I had time. Or make quilts. I made a quilt once at seventeen for my high school boyfriend lol. It was awful...and for the life of me I can't remember why I decided to make a seventeen year old boy a quilt lol.

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  5. Love those traditions! Thank you for sharing them.

    I've always loved Christmas Eve because there was such a sense of expectation. As if anything could happen, and that the gifts wrapped under the tree could be anything. Maybe it's how Mary felt as those first labor pains hit. That sense that life was going to change in the next few hours. Life, and the world, would never be the same.

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  6. I loved reading about your mother-daughter traditions, Jen! Sounds like, though your traditions had to evolve, they only got sweeter. Especially with your little one ;). And yum! Those crepes are making my mouth water...and the Festival of Trees sounds amazing.

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  7. Great traditions. I miss my mom so much. I loved the part where the great dad came along. I have a poem and one line is about a parent who carried their child under in their heart instead of under their heart (meaning not biological). My dad was the best ever.

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