Being Flexible with Christmas Family Traditions! December 19 2011, 0 Comments

Despite all of the stress that the Christmas season seems to bring, the two things most Americans say they enjoy are spending time with their family on Christmas and to celebrate their family traditions.  I know this to be true with our family too.  We have several traditions that, frankly, are what I look most forward to during the season.

Some traditions are passed down from generation to generation but many can be started each year. Here are a few examples of our yearly traditions and the flexibility we have had to deal with.

Tradition #1. The day that you traditionally celebrate Christmas with your family may change when the children get married and have children of their own. 
All of a sudden, there are in-laws to add into the equation  So each family must be ready to be flexible with their celebration days. It's one of the hardest things I have had to get used to so far! For so many years, we had all our kids with us on every Holiday and at every mass.  When we were growing up, I remember spending Christmas Eve with my Mom's family and going to midnight mass with my cousins. Christmas Day was with my Dad's family. It was the day we all looked forward to opening our gifts.  Then, the kids got married and everything changed!  I never thought of how my Mom or Dad felt when they had to change their traditions...... I thought that that's the way it would be forever!  We all had to be flexible!

Tradition #2. Shopping with your kids for Christmas.
So many Americans have a tradition that has their children (especially Mom's and their girls) going shopping for their Christmas presents.  I know I look forward to that every year too.  But again, being flexible makes the stress a lot easier to bear.  There are millions of Americans who plan the day after Thanksgiving to start their shopping.  Some even begin by standing in line on Thanksgiving night, but there are many factors that go into making that happen perfectly. Weather probably being the most detrimental especially if you live in the Midwest like we do. We go to the Lake of the Ozarks to do our shopping the day after Thanksgiving, but this year, none of us could do it, so we had to be flexible....we shopped separately when we could.  I have to say, it wasn't near as fun!

Tradition #3. Making Christmas Cookies.
I cannot remember a time when we did not make Italian Christmas Cookie gift boxes for our neighbors and friends. Before my children were born, I used to get together with my Aunt and cousin to make our Christmas cookies. (My mother did not make cookies) But now the tradition continues, my girls and I pick a date close to Christmas that we all can get together to make cookies.  We have recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation that we use. It's a lot of hard work but we have a blast.  We now have little granddaughters that have joined in on this fun time.  They definitely make it impossible not to be flexible on that day.  Who has to nap, or who has to attend school part of that day.  We always make it work and it never ceases to amaze me that they all get done while having a great time doing it!
Making Cookies!
Icing the cookies.

Tradition #4  Making our Christmas Wrapping Paper.
This is one of the traditions that all of the family is involved in.  We get the left over bolts of newspaper print that the printer cannot use and y husband sets up a makeshift roller on a ladder that we roll the paper off of and onto the large table we have next to it.  Each person gets to make as many large pieces of paper that they want. There's every color paint and many accessories along with gloves, paint brushes and tarps. Everyone lets their creativity flow!  It is so much fun, but again, we have to be flexible as to when we do it.  We have to try to set a date close enough to Christmas that everyone can make, the weather again needs to cooperate as we do it in the garage and we have to take into consideration the grandkids naps and feeding schedules!   It's quite chaotic but so much fun and the paper is beautiful!!!

Making the paper

 Under the tree

Tradition #5.  Making Gingerbread Houses with the grandchildren.
Since my granddaughters were born, I have started a new Nonnie/Granddaughter tradition, making gingerbread houses!  It is quite the feat with the girls so little but fun no less.  We buy the kit, put them together and the girls put all of the candy on it.  Trying to keep them from eating the candy at this age is pretty interesting.  It's a lot of fun but they hardly ever stay together for very long!  Being flexible and having patience are the two things needed for this tradition. We haven't gotten it done yet this year so we are going to do them on Christmas Day this year.  Wow.....I hope I'm flexible enough on that day! LOL
Making Gingerbread Houses

We would love to hear all of your Christmas traditions and how you have had to be flexible! Please comment and we will post them all here!

The most important thing of all to remember this year is:
Christmas is about God and Family so be flexible so you can enjoy your family and friends this Christmas without the stress!  Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season!

 Merry Christmas from Pezzo Bello Interiors!  We hope it is a wonderful one!