This post reminded me that I wanted to write about making some holiday traditions for our new little family. When I was growing up, we spent just about every holiday with my maternal grandparents. My grandma would slave away making the meal while my mom and aunts would make the desserts for Thanksgiving. If my uncles and aunts didn't make it for the 2 p.m. meal, they showed up at 4 p.m. for leftovers. I always would help with the dishes (it seems to take us hours to do) and of course, take a nap while the uncles, cousins and my brothers watched football. This was always a time to see the out of town cousins and play "school" with my in town ones as well.
Christmas Eve our immediate family would go to mass. This day is also my younger brother's birthday (he'll he 31 this year). After mass, our family would open gifts (youngest to oldest, one gift at the time) and then load up and head to my maternal grandparents house. This would be a late night. Sometimes we wouldn't get home until after midnight. Santa always delivered our gifts early because in the morning my dad would pick us up (if you didn't know my parents divorced when I was 5) and we'd spend the day with him.
Since moving to Bend, I'm sorry to say don't really have a tradition. Most of the time, if we are in Bend on Thanksgiving we are lucky enough to be invited somewhere. I still make a small turkey breast on Friday with the fixings (so I guess these is some sort of tradition in place). Christmas has been all over the place. One year we went skiing. Last year, we went to Seventh Mnt Resort with friends. Brian and I started a tradition that we'd buy each other an ornament each year to symbolize the year and I also buy a bottle of wine to open in 10 years.
Sometimes I really miss being around my family. I told Brian that sometimes, I think that maybe it would be great for Ben to grow up near a larger group of family members. They still gather at my grandma's house on Thanksgiving though she doesn't make the meal anymore -- my aunts decided to go to a buffet last year. My grandma made a small dinner for those who wanted to gather later. They still have Christmas at her house.
Today I bought stocking to put names on and hang over the fireplace. I plan on putting little things in them this year. We usually go and cut our tree but I'm thinking of scraping that until Ben gets old and mainly because I want a smaller, more lush tree this year. We plan on buying each other and Ben an ornament. But what else? Make cookies? Go snowshoeing on Christmas? I need ideas. What do you do with your family?