Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Our 2008 Christmas tree

I love traditions, especially around the holidays but I am realizing this year that as with everything, each year brings changes to this so called "tradition"...
Pretty reflection

It used to be tradition in my family for my whole family to drive to a tree farm after Sunday Mass and saw down a live tree, followed by a busy evening of putting up the tree "Is it straight??", "a little more to the right..." etc.

I haven't been a part of the tree-getting tradition in years. My youngest sister, now 8, probably doesn't even remember going to get the tree with me, ever...that makes me so sad. This year, I think Mom, Amata, Bryan, Lily and Rachael retrieved the tree. Lily and Rachael put up a few ornaments before our party, but other than that the tree is bare.
Each of us three older girls has one of these. Although I'm not sure where they originally came from, we've had them for about 20 years and each one holds our birth stone.

A few things have stayed the same, though...

We always go out to eat around the holidays. As a family of 9, eating out is a HUGE treat. We usually try and go on the 26th, to celebrate my parents' anniversary (Yes, they got married the day after Christmas and all of us children are forbid from doing so!). This year, between Shae's new job, Amata's mission trip, and Sam's social life, Monday night was the only available time for everyone. We enjoyed a leisurely dinner at Cracker Barrel and most of us ended up

Some ornaments are special to each of us, and only that person can put them up. For some reason, as a young girl I fell in love with a Dorothy ornament, from The Wizard of Oz. Everyone knows that ornament is not to touch the family tree until I come home, even if I arrive a day or two before Christmas!
My Dorothy ornament

This ornament reminds me of my mom, a former nurse. It's an adorable ornament!

I'm not sure if it's because I'm the oldest, but I seem to have charge of most of the Christmas traditions around here. Perhaps because I was a bossy older sister, or maybe due to my parents' ruling, I am the only "child" allowed downstairs on the main floor of the house, and only then to wake my parents and alert them that we're all ready to begin opening stockings and gifts! My dad used to torture the younger kids by telling him he was going to take a shower before the gift-exchanging could begin...they'd probably still hate it!

One of my favorite, very simple traditions is that I put up the stockings before our annual party. I'm not sure how any of these traditions began, although most especially this one. The stockings sit in a box until I arrive for the Christmas holiday, and then my younger sisters help cut the string and hand me the correct stocking for each place on the stair railing.
Glass ornament...fragile as a snowflake

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