Friday, December 13, 2013

My Christmas Traditions

Posted by Tara

When I think of Christmas time I think of all the traditions I grew up with. Now as an adult I strive to keep some of those traditions alive for my kids. Today I thought I would share some of those traditions. I don't know about you, but I always love hearing how others spend their holiday!
Christmas time means Mexican food for me. Every year my Mom makes tamales and pasole. Pasole is the red version of Menudo and is also made with pork instead of the stomach. It is spicy and amazing. It seriously warms my soul. We top it with lemon juice, cilantro, green onion, and oregano. 

After gorging ourselves with food all day, we then go and find Christmas lights in town. We track down the brightest lit houses and drive by them. And with my kids we try in the month of December to take them to the Mesa Temple lights. They put so much effort into these lights every year and it shows. The kids love it. They get to see large nativities there and if we go into the visitor center they can see a short film on Christ. 

Every year right before Christmas my Dad's side of the family has been doing a Christmas program as a family since I was an infant. So I am guessing for more than 30 years now! I did it as a child (dressed up and participated) and I love nothing more than seeing my kids get to be a part of that. While they stand in their costumes, someone is reading the story of Mary and Joseph. Afterwards we sing Christmas songs together and wait for Santa to arrive. We have had the same family friend be Santa for all of the kids since it first began. 

When Santa arrives he talks with the kids and gives them a goodie bag. Inside that goodie bag is also a tradition. My family puts an orange at the bottom of stockings and goodie bags since I can remember. I remember telling a friend that we put an orange at the bottom and she laughed cause she hadn't heard of that. I love finding the orange at the bottom of my stocking!

On Christmas eve, after lights and food, we come home and have hot chocolate and start on wrapping presents. My family does an ornament exchange and we open our ornaments that night as well. Some are funny ones and some are really pretty ones. It's always fun doing the ornament exchange.
Now these are just my family traditions that I remember and enjoyed. Of course Seth (my husband) has plenty that he remembers and loves and wants our kids to have as well. Sometimes trying to do it all can be overwhelming, but we just need to remember why we are doing all of this. We need to remember the Reason for this Season. Merry Christmas Everyone!

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