I'm sure many of you have vivid Christmas traditions that you continue with your present day families. Since I was a little girl I remember waking up Christmas morning to a big mug filled with egg nog and pumpkin and zucchini bread on the counter cut into big slices slathered with butter. It was always such a treat since the remaining 364 days of the year we ate cereal (no sugar cereal either folks!).
Though our family's breakfast is more varied now (Sorry Mom, no hard feelings.), we still continue eating pumpkin or zucchini bread Christmas morning as well as a few treats from my husband's past. In addition, my husband reads the Christmas story from the bible just as my father did year after year around our dining room table. I love having these moments of my past become my children's memories.
Over the past five years, we have also created a new family tradition special to just us. Each night before Christmas, I have a large basket over-filling with wrapped Christmas books for each child to pick as a bed-time story. Getting to open a package each night is such a thrill for the kids even though they know that inside contains a book about winter, snow, and/or Christmas. The excitement and anticipation for bedtime increases each night as we get closer to Christmas and Drew and I get to share a special moment with our kids reflecting on Christ's birth.
The cost has been quite minimal for this project and in less then forty-five minutes I can always get the books all wrapped after Thanksgiving. The first year my mom helped me (I was on bed rest with Mr. Keegan) purchase as many books as we could find about Christmas from Goodwill and other second hand stores. We were short a few that first year and borrowed a few great books from our local library. We wrapped them like the others but in a different wrapping paper so we could open them first to return them on time. (My mom would go crazy if she know I ever had a late library book!)
Over the years, I have added to my collection when I found a wonderful Christmas book at a garage sale or local second-hand store usually for less than $.69 a piece. I then store all the Christmas books with my Christmas decorations in anticipation for next years discovery. After several years of Goodwill collecting I'm up to 48 books...enough for both kids to unwrap one each night before Christmas. This year Fiona helped me wrap all the books and she eagerly read each title to me as we wrapped them together. I personally am excited this year as I know she will be able to read them herself this year.
I love sharing this tradition with my family each night as we head to bed. I hope that maybe this is one of the traditions my kids will "adopt" into their own family's traditions.
From inside the little blue bungalow,