Blogmas 2014 - Day 16 Christmas In My Home Country
Somewhere between being sick, making snacks for school parties, sick kids, Christmas shopping, and house hold chores, I've gotten way behind. Don't worry, I'll get all caught up this weekend... I hope.
Ok, so I've been looking into family heritage a lot lately. I subscribed to ancestory.com and I've traced my heritage back to Scotland, Denmark, Germany, and England. I'm thinking about subscribing to the level where I can see documents and things from other countries.
Anyway, I don't know that I really celebrate Christmas much different than most other people that were born and raised in the United States.
They day after Thanksgiving, up goes the Christmas tree. That seems to be a pretty common day for Christmas trees to come out and get decorated, at least according to my Facebook feed.
Of course there is the endless debate about Christmas carols. When is it appropriate to start rocking out to Jingle Bells and Deck the Halls? Growing up for me and apparently for my husband also, Thanksgiving was the day it became acceptable. I could listen to it and joyfully sing them all year round, so I sneak them in a little early. Sshhh... Don't tell. I noticed them on the radio the weekend before Thanksgiving so that's when I started.
Obviously, Christmas is the birth of Jesus, but even people that don't believe or at least celebrate Jesus celebrate Christmas.
Neighborhoods become decorated with lights and other decorations.
Even big building and areas of town decorate for the season.
There are often parades as well. The one in Lawrence that we attend every year is called the Lawrence Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade. Every entry is either people on horseback or carriages being pulled by horses.
There are often charities that do special things to give special assistance to those in need at Christmas time. One that my kids have participated in, here in Lawrence, is the Festival of Lights, where a bunch of the area businesses decorate a Christmas tree, donate it, and then it's auctioned off and the proceeds go to a women and children's shelter here in town.
Because the Preschool my kids go to is an art based preschool, they make their Christmas tree's out of different materials.
When Ben was in preschool they used tennis ball tubes that the kids had painted and glittered.
Sydney's first year of preschool, they used flip flops the kids had painted and glued sequins to.
This year, they colored on CDs and put beads on wires to hang on the tree.
Of course, when it comes to traditions, you can't forget Santa!
And sometimes, Santa needs a little help so there is always Elf on the Shelf. They are cheeky little elves that watch the kids during the day and report back to Santa at night. Sometimes they do crazy or silly things. You cannot touch them though, or they lose their magic and can't report back to Santa. We told our kids that if they touch him (ours is named Ralphie after the boy in Christmas Story) he can't report back to Santa and then they won't get anything from Santa since he will know they broke the rules and were naughty.
And of course there are the parties! The kids have them at school, we have them with family. Parties, parties, and more parties. Which means lots of snacks and food.
Here are the snacks I made for Ben's class party. Reindeer food and Snowman cheese sticks.
I think that covers a good chunk of our family traditions that are probably just like many others across the United States.