Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as, as a fiddler on a roof.
Traditions and roofs are very near and dear to the Barefoot Hippie Family heart. After all, Mr. Hippie is a roofer by trade. And lives without traditions...well, you know what those are like...
When two become one, you aren't just meshing two individuals. You are meshing two families' worth of traditions. For sanity's sake, each couple, each new family, has to settle on traditions that are uniquely their family unit's traditions.
Our Barefoot Hippie Christmas Tradition hybrid consists of a blend of his, hers and theirs. And, I think it is a fabulous blend. If I had to pick just one, I don't know what I'd pick.
-An advent calendar. Nothing spectacular. Just felt pockets filled with chocolate. The offspring rotate turns through out the month. Everyone ends up with 6 days/chocolates. Which is pretty perfect. And which may be a reason we stick with 4 kids. Though, the only numbers that don't work too well with 24 or 25, would be like 7 or 9 and above. With those multiples, everyone doesn't get even-steven chances. But, an advent calendar is probably the least of your concerns in big family dynamics. (in case you think I am dissing big families, I am one of 8, and Mr. Hippie is one of 11.)
-Christmas concerts. We attend at least one sacred concert every year. It is a male choir that I have listened to since I was young. Now we bring our kids. I love it, because the audience always sings at least 6 carols. And the main accompaniment is a pipe organ. It is phenomenal.
-Black Hill Spruce Christmas Tree. We found this variety a couple years ago. It is a very full tree and has a great color. See my new tree skirt? 90% off $100, end of season HL clearance last year. (And, I just noticed my toes also made it into the picture. Bare and less than 20 degrees outside. Snowing like a banshee.)
We usually get our tree the second Saturday in December, and decorate it that Sunday. It will hang with us until around January 1. We always take it down before school starts up again.
-New ornament every year. The weekend we decorate our tree, we also take a family trek to Hobby Lobby, and each one of us pick out an ornament for the year. Mine are usually glass and dangly. We also have lots of cars and trucks and princess stuff. Each kid gets to hang their own ornaments each year, and they will be able to take them with them when they move out.
-Home made gifts, of some sort, almost inevitably make their appearance in our Christmas celebrations. This year we are keeping it pretty low key. LC and I put together a double batch of sugar scrub yesterday for teachers and friends. (recipes here)
-Traditionally I am also a horrible procrastinator of certain tasks. Tasks that tend to involve paper (like taxes and wrapping gifts) or packing (like suitcase packing or wrapping gifts.). I fortify myself with a glass of Moscato, blast the Christmas carols and haul out the Scotch tape (the only good reason to wrap gifts. It is one of my favorite scents. Ever.). Usually within a week of Christmas. If I am really procrastinating, it may be only a day or two before Christmas. Even though I've had all my gifts for weeks. I know...sigh...
-Baking Day. I mentioned in my cookie recipe round up post last week, that I am waffling on this one. I am kind of spreading the love around this year. I love my annual baking day, but it is working better for my schedule to just make a recipe or two at a time. I don't know that spacing it out is helping my waistline at all though.
-Eggs benedict. We always have eggs benedict for breakfast on Christmas morning. I make up Julia Child's hollandaise. It is fool proof and amazing. We might try making the eggs benedict with a twist this year...bacon and ham, plus egg and hollandaise, on croissants....
-An offspring campout. I don't know how this tradition started, but our kids have slept on the pullout couch in the light of the Christmas tree every Christmas Eve since we started doing Christmas trees. They are getting too big to all pile on there now, so we may be looking at sleeping bags on the floor in lieu of the couch.
-Hors de vours with the BFF on Christmas Eve. It is mostly finger foods and it is crazy good. Colorful and delicious. We will be on our own this year as the BFF will be in FL with her family. But, I am still contemplating what offerings I am going to concoct for our own consumption.
-We read the Christmas story on Christmas morning. We always open our stockings first. We listen to the BBC broadcast of the 9 Lessons of Christmas on Christmas Eve. We talk to family far and near on the phone.
What are your family's favorite traditions? Are you overwhelmed by your traditions or do you feel in a good spot? If you had to pick just one tradition to hold on to this year...which one would you pick?