I know it’s been a ridiculously long time since I blogged but life has been crazy so this was the first thing to be put on hold! However after a friendly reminder from my good friend Tillie, I realized that some people do indeed still check to see what my life looks like. Although I choose not to make New Year’s resolutions I will endeavor to keep this little corner of the virtual world more up to date:)

So I’ll start with the wonderful memories we created this past Christmas. When I was a little girl my mom had this cute calendar that started on December 1st and went until Christmas eve. It was made of felt and had tiny little pockets in it. It wasn’t unique in and of itself but it was the way my mom chose to use it that created the most amazing memories for me and I have carried that tradition into my own house. So each year on November 30th I drag out my calendar and begin brainstorming activities that I can write on small pieces of paper and put into each little pocket. These activities may include such things as decorating the Christmas tree, making cookies, finger painting, homemade playdough, etc., etc. The point is that each day has something unique that is either related to Christmas or has some aspect of family time together. Now that we have a fake tree December first is always decorating the Christmas tree, much to my enjoyment and to the chagrin of James. I usually unpack the trees, the Christmas CDs and get them ready so that when James gets home and we’ve eaten dinner we can then spend some time focusing on this altogether. Thankfully my husband is a great sport and always chooses to participate. I hope and pray this will continue even as our children grow since part of the reason they love it so much is because we do it all together. The other reason we cherish this time is because many of our Christmas tree ornaments hold special meaning. For example I made ornaments for each of the children on their first Christmas from their footprints and every year since I have tried to come up with some unique ornament so that when they move into their own home they will have something that first year to put on their tree. James reminded this year that perhaps I should think about choosing an age to stop this tradition as the kids may find it kind of silly as they get older so we chose 10 as the appropriate year to finish with that for each of the kids! That means I have two more years for Sam and a few more for the other three. Some of the other special ornaments include ones that my mom purchased for James and I when we were engaged and first married as well as one particular ornament my mom purchased for me the year I miscarried during the Christmas season. Each year when I put that one on the tree I get a little catch in my throat as the kids remember that there actually was one more baby Davenport. It’s bittersweet in its rememberance for me.

Other Christmas activities are our Church family skate, decorating a gingerbread house, celebrating James’ birthday, the kids Christmas programs at school and church, doing a tour of lights in our town, going to Van Dusen park or on the Christmas train at Stanley park, and Christmas carolling. A few of these activities had to be abandoned this year because of snow or just exhaustion from too much happening but we managed to enjoy quite a few.

As far as Christmas productions are concerned this year was a particularly busy season for those. The kids’ school is rather traditional in how they celebrate which I really appreciate. Sam’s class explored how different cultures celebrate but front and center was the nativity scene and my wonderful eight year old played the part of Joseph. He was excellent with his lines and looked so sweet playing a little man. Jake’s class has an amazing opportunity to learn sign language since one of his classmates is deaf. Their class sang the song, “Little toy trains” and did the sign language for it as well. Jake was fabulous and sang his heart out. Now the kids also had the privilege of participating in the church program. Since I was able to coordinate it this year with an amazing team of people working with me it was a great success. The live orchestra, the children’s choir, and the great acting made it such a wonderful performance. Of course the cutest by far were the little ones who were the cows and sheep in the nativity scene. That included Lanae and she was more than thrilled to be included in something that put her front and center.

This year we spent Christmas Eve with my parents. Thankfully most of us had the day off so everyone except for Joel’s fiance, Meghan, who had to work a little later and Ben and Trish, who headed over the Island to spend Christmas with her family this year, headed over the mom and dad’s right after lunch. We all pitched in to help with dinner and then just spent the day opening gifts, visiting and playing! It was actually pretty relaxing even with my four kids and Tim and Amber’s little guy, Meeka. Lanae and Annie both took a turn dancing with grandpa since my parents have recently taken up dance lessons. It was so sweet to see them both enjoying my dad and feeling cherished as every little girl should. The boys enjoyed the Wii game we purchased for them (actually we all have over the holidays) and all the kids were thrilled to get new shirts or dresses specially purchased from Jamaica from Uncle Joelly and Auntie Meghan. We attended Heritage’s Christmas Eve service which was simple and enjoyable and then headed back to mom and dad’s for appetizers and games.

Christmas morning the kids actually managed to sleep until 7:30 so we all jumped out of bed and began opening gifts. The kids were eager for us to open the gifts they purchased for us. The boys’ school holds a Christmas craft fair each year and they both brought some money and purchased small gifts for each family member. My sons know me so well since they both came home with a pair of earrings for me. Yes, if you’re wondering they were slightly tacky but I’ve managed to wear both pairs and the look of delight on their faces is worth whatever mockery I might have to endure for my plastic, glittery, snowflake earrings. James also spoiled me this year and signed us up for the same dance lessons my parents have been taking. Joel and Meghan are determined to have a proper dance at their wedding so it will be neat to actually know how to dance. However, James surprised me with the idea to go to a few of the “dance parties” the dance studio holds after lessons. Who knows, maybe this will be one of those hobbies we will enjoy well into our retirement years.

I don’t have any pictures of this one but James has made it a bit of a tradition with which ever family we are spending Christmas day with to make a big brunch. He whips out his big skillet and makes a feast for the morning. This year he treated us to bacon, breakfast sausage, fresh fruit, orange juice, eggnog french toast with cinnamon butter and syrup, eggs, hashbrowns…it was amazing and a great way to settle into Christmas day.

We ended the Christmas festivities at Jim and Janet’s with gift opening, wine, visiting, laughing, and a full roast beef meal. This year we were glad to have Drew and his girlfriend, Saika, join us for the day. It was a wonderful day and the kids enjoyed every minute of it as did James and I.

What I value most every Christmas is the closeness of both our families. Sometimes it’s just the proximity that keeps us close and other years we truly feel the bond of relationship that brings us together and keeps us united. Although we do not spend a great deal of time discussing this we all know that in the world we live in today dysfunction reigns in many families and often brings with it horrible experiences especially around the holiday season. I can honestly say that I LOVE both of our families and cherish the time we have together. It is a refreshing break from the chaos of life and every year reminds me of what Christ have given us in His relationship with us.

I hope this year I will be able to take a little more time to share the experience God is giving me and how they are impacting my own growth and my family! I hope I haven’t lost too many of you in negligence of my blog but for those of you still checking I hope this year brings many blessings for you as well.

4 thoughts on “Christmas Traditions and Memories

  1. Well you’ve set quite the precedent! I haven’t blogged in ages either but I don’t know if my update will be quite as detailed as yours. 🙂
    Seriously though, that was beautiful. You brought tears to my eyes.

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