It’s Tradition!


As promised, here are the photos to go along with the post!

It seems that every year, Christmas gets busier and more hectic and I can never believe when the day has already come and gone! This is such a special season, so it makes me sad (and a little guilty) when I can’t savor it due to the busy-ness. The routine of traditions, though, keeps things sane for me. We used to tease my dad about his love for “tradition,” said in the tone of the father in Fiddler on the Roof. 🙂 As I have gotten older, I have become so appreciative of these traditions and the order, predicatability, and sentiment they hold.

Some of our family’s Christmas traditions include:

1) Advent calendars and the Advent wreath, in anticipation of Christ’s birth on Christmas. My parents made me a cute felt Advent calendar my very first Christmas, and I still use it at my house all these years later!

2) Hanging the “Clifton Family Ornaments.” My dad came from a huge family (9 kids) that moved a lot, and he doesn’t have many artifacts from his childhood. He does have 3 antique Christmas ornaments, and each of us hangs one on the tree.

3) Christmas Eve church, pimento cheese sandwiches and soup, and staying up entirely too late wrapping presents. We are a last-minute family!

4) Me (and Pearl, my cat) spending the night with my parents on Christmas Eve and Christmas night.

5) Christmas stockings! Even though I’m officially an adult, I still get a stocking, and I always fix my parents’ stockings too. Hello, “stocking stuffers” are some of the most fun gifts! My mom made our stockings when I was a baby…

My grandparents’ gift to each of us is always a “portrait” of Ben Franklin, rolled up and tucked inside a little stocking on the tree. 🙂 Gift-giving from them is all about the Benjamins, baby…

6) Christmas brunch. We have the same breakfast every year…nothing fancy, but it’s always yummy. Cinnamon rolls, arranged into a tree or wreath shape (my mom’s artistic touch), Pillsbury crescent rolls with “little smokies” inside, and fruit, all served on Christmas plates.

7) BBQ for dinner, and taking allllllll day to unwrap our presents. Yes, we are the family who takes turns opening gifts one at a time. 🙂

8) Setting up the tripod (or this year, a step-ladder since I forgot to bring the tripod) and taking a family portrait in front of the tree…me, my parents, and my grandparents. Whenever possible, we also round up the cat(s) to be included…I’m pretty sure my dad has sustained some flesh-wounds over the years trying to hold a feline for the family picture. He’s a good daddy!

This one is a few years ago, but I included it because of the squirming cat my dad is attempting to wrangle…

This year’s family photo, Christmas 2008…we had a wonderful day!

I hope that everyone in blog-land had a wonderful Christmas and that you celebrated–or created–some traditions of your own! I’d love to hear about them…let me know what you and your family or friends do the same way, every year!

Merry Christmas,
(I’m still up, so it still counts as Christmas, right??)

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