I'm so excited for Christmas this year I can hardly stand it. Just three weeks from tomorrow we will be celebrating Jackson's very first Christmas! Growing up we never had any specific Christmas traditions. We had things that we all liked to do from year to year but it oftened changed as the three of us Blair girls got older. Several versions of traditions included driving around South Sioux City looking at the over-the-top Christmas lights after a yummy dinner at Kahil's. When we were a little older, we would open gifts until the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Eve so we could drive to my Grandparent's house in Indianola, IA on Christmas Day. A few days later we would head up north for the New Year's holiday. I also remember always having a delicious homemade soup on Christmas Eve between services at church. I always liked to go to both the early service (lots of kids which always made me smile) and the late service (lots of Christmas carols, yeah!). There is nothing so wonderful as singing "Silent Night" in a candlelit church on Christmas Eve. Last year I cried thinking about how wonderful it would be celebrating Christmas this year with a baby.
I'm really looking forward to creating family traditions, even if they change a little from year to year. Christmas was always such a special family time for me and I want the same thing for Jackson. Memories are so precious and I want him to have wonderful memories of this special time of year. Here are some of the family traditions that I would like to create.
1. Dropping off Jackson for some Aunt, Uncle, Cousin or Grandparents bonding time while Scott and I go out for dinner and do some Christmas shopping. We actually did this a couple of weeks ago although we didn't end up buying that much for Jackson.
2. Reading "The Night Before Christmas" with Jackson. I remember growing up that I pretty much had this book memorized and could recite it on command. It's such a special book to me and to this day I can recall the worn pages of the book and beautiful pictures. I spent quite alot of time picking out the copy I bought for our family -- looking at the illustrations and hoping Jackson would like it as much as I do.
3. New pajamas for Christmas Eve. This isn't an original idea. I got it from someone else and I think it's wonderful! On Christmas Eve we all (or maybe just Jackson, I haven't figured that out yet) will open up a new pair of pajamas, something comfy to lounge in when we open presents in the morning.
4. Driving around and looking at Christmas lights after dinner. Maybe we will start this tradition when Jackson gets old enough to actually look at the lights. He's still at the point where the car equals sleep. Then again, maybe we will start this year and Scott and I will enjoy the lights.
5. I would also like to have a special movie that we watch every year at Christmas. I haven't figured out which one yet but I'm working on it. I don't know if we'll go classic with "It's a Wonderful Life" or modern with something like "The Polar Express." Then again, maybe we'll let Jackson pick the movie when he gets older.
Ok, so I guess all the traditions aren't set in stone quite yet and I think that will probably be part of the fun too -- letting the traditions really develop as we grow as a family. Can you tell I'm excited and have put some thought into this stuff? This weekend we are putting up the Christmas tree so hopefully I will have some great pictures to post.