Sweet Santa’s elves, thanks for popping in for 10 on the 10th 12.2020. Today we are sharing 10 holiday activities or traditions. I have to say, this was a tough prompt for me. And I came up with it!! Clearly, we don’t have enough Christmas activities or traditions in my family.
If I can think of 8, I’ll be lucky. Going to give it the old college try…
10 Holiday Activities and Traditions
Since this prompt was such a struggle for me, I am going to combine the activities and traditions of my childhood with my children’s childhoods. Maybe even my neighbors’ childhoods!!
- Visit the Prudential Building: On Christmas Eve, my parents would take us into downtown Boston where we would ride the elevator 50 stories up to the top of the Prudential Building. We would stand at the windows of the observation deck and look for Santa. One night I cried down the elevator and all the way home because my ears wouldn’t pop. Kind of spoiled the whole evening…my crying, that is.
- Leave cookies and carrots out: Pretty sure almost every other American child did this back in the olden days (was recently reminded of that phrase which I used to use all the time). My dad, bless his heart, ate the cookies and carrots every year and drank the glass of milk.
- Matching Christmas dresses: At least for a few years, my younger sister and I wore watching Christmas dresses. One year, they were red velvet jumpers with white blouses underneath. My mom made them and red shorts overalls for our much younger brother.
- Cinnamon and orange rolls: My mom and her mom before her always made homemade cinnamon and orange rolls. And we usually had a fresh batches of both for breakfast Christmas morning. Check out our family recipe in this recipe swap blog hop post from earlier this year.
My Children’s Childhood
My girls always left a plate of cookies and carrots out for Santa and the reindeer. As the mommy, it was my turn to eat the cookies and the carrots, leaving a few crumbs of each behind on the plate. So this was something we carried over from my childhood.
- Christmas dresses: The first year we were back in the U.S. after living in Panama, I wanted my girls to have Christmas dresses. In Panama, it was always warm year-round so Christmas dresses looked like Easter dresses!! Pastels and flowers – see the first photo below. I wanted the girls to have Christmas dresses for cold weather, with tights, hair bows and shiny new shoes. Found these beautiful dresses the second photo below and put them on layaway. Loved finally being able to dress my daughters up for the holidays. Not sure why I felt it so important that the girls have Christmas dresses, but it was. We often bought dresses and tights for some of the less fortunate little girls at their school.
- Baking Christmas cookies: My mom always made cookies but I don’t remember helping her much. We did make sugar cookies with my grandmother a time or two. She usually came from Missouri to stay with us during the winter. My daughters and I made cookies together. Brennyn’s favorites were caramel heavenlies and Lauren’s favorites were lemon almond cookies.
- Going to see Christmas lights: We often did this the night before Christmas, along with the rest of the western hemisphere. A couple of times lately, I have made a Christmas light scavenger hunt and plan to do that again this year as part of my winter bucket list. Come back on 12.21.2020 to get a copy!
Christmas Present Traditions
- Santa presents and stockings: This is another carry-over from my childhood but with our own twist. Santa presents are never wrapped. When I was a kid, Santa left his gifts unwrapped under the tree. But for my daughters, he adopted a different strategy. He left each girl’s presents in a special place on the couch or in a chair. And we could tell whose gifts were whose because he also put their filled stockings beside their Santa gifts. Of course, everything in the stockings was also from the jolly ole fella. And no one was allowed to look at Santa presents until they woke me up…usually before dawn.
- Opening presents: I was a mean old mom. Wouldn’t let Brennyn and Lauren open their wrapped gifts from family until after they had breakfast, made their beds and maybe even got dressed. Can’t remember for sure about that part. But breakfast had to be eaten and beds made for sure. Then they could open one present from under the tree at a time. We took turns. Brennyn would open something, then Lauren, then I would open a gift. Apparently, this mom let them open one present on Christmas Eve, though. So maybe I wasn’t so mean after all. It’s funny, I asked both girls for traditions and they both remembered opening a present on the 24th but I didn’t remember that at all!!
Sharing with Others
- Giving to others: I tried to teach the girls the importance of giving to others from a young age. Their elementary schools had Santa’s Workshops where the children could buy in expensive little gifts. Often times Brennyn and Lauren would do extra chores to earn more money/allowance to buy gifts at Christmas. And we always bought for children less fortunate than they. Several years we took gifts to an orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. They would clean up some of their older, less played-with toys to donate to Toys for Tots when the Marines came around collecting them.
Ha!! I did it!! I came up with 10 traditions. We are more ‘traditional’ than I thought. Enjoyed reminiscing here about Christmases past.
Have you begun making holiday plans? Will you be celebrating with family and friends or is it unsafe to do so where you live? It will be just PC and me for our Christmas morning and meal. Hope to at least Facetime with Brennyn, Cady and Tafa and Lauren, Francisco, Cia and Cami sometime during the day. We’ve been blessed to have little ones around for the holidays for 10 years now. This Christmas is going to be mighty quiet in comparison.
If you have a 10 on the 10th holiday traditions post, won’t you link up with us below? Or share your favorite tradition in a comment.
Then hope you will take a few minutes to visit some of my friends to share their holiday traditions with us.
And that brings us to the last 10 on the 10th post for the year. Thank you for supporting this series during the year. Trying to plan for blogging in 2021. Should I continue this series? Please let me know in a comment below.
Thank you for stopping by. Hope your holiday plans are everything you dream for them to be.
Hugs and kisses,