Thursday, December 24, 2009

Traditions Tried

(I'm doing a little bit of back-tracking here, probably more for my sake than for yours. As I consider this my online scrapbook and journal of sorts, it's important for me to play a little "catch up" in order to more fully remember the events of the last few weeks. So stick with me...there's a lot to tell!)

One of the more fun things for me to do as a mom is to create new traditions for the boys. What better time to do so than for the holidays. Some of my sweetest memories of my childhood revolve around Christmas, and the traditions that I could count on year after year. Cookie making and frosting, opening gifts, traveling to my grandparents' homes, being with family. So now that it's my turn, I'm having fun giving some new things a try, and we'll see if they stick around long enough to be considered traditional Vander Waal holiday flair.

A few we've tried this year...

1) Trimming the tree - each of the boys got to hang their own ornaments on the tree

2) Visiting Santa - this was the first year we sought out Santa-at-the-mall for the boys to visit, and we really only ended up doing so upon the invitation of some friends. Never knowing how Drew would react was one reason we'd never given it a shot, but also because mall Santas - they're not so cheap! Leave it my friend to find a bargain, though. This particular Santa was stationed in an empty store at our outdoor mall in Peoria and *free of charge* if you bring your own camera to shoot your own pictures. Reed was less than impressed with the big man in red (totally expected), and Drew was a bit nervous as well. Although they had a pretty cheap set-up (hence the free admission and picture taking), this was probably one of the better Santas I can remember. He must be a grandfather...he knew many tricks to keep kids comfortable.

3) Cookie making - Drew helped me a little bit with the cookies this year. He first started out being my go-to sprinkle man (so much experience from the Halloween cookies, you know) but then quickly decided (thanks to a faulty sprinkle bottle) to switch to "Master Froster." I think more frosting ended up on his fingers and consequently in his mouth than it did on the cookies. But isn't that true for most of us???

4) Christmas Eve service at church (will most likely be a tradition that sticks...considering Dad's occupation!).

5) Setting out cookies for Santa!

6) Reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas in our jammies, just before we head to bed on Christmas Eve.

We'll see what else we come up with as the boys grow older and we continue to revel in the things that make us "us."

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