I try to get the children new pajamas each year. In the past, our tradition has typically been to open the pajamas on Christmas Eve just before bed. Then there would be a Christmas movie and giant sleepover. However, as our lives change our traditions change. It was cute and fun having a bunch of tiny little people sleeping on our bedroom floor. Not so much now that they are big, snoring, and staying up late. Besides most of them want to sleep in their beds as the floor is not so comfortable. The three youngest are holdouts, but the end up sleeping around the Christmas tree, so it all works out.
Old tradition leave and new traditions start.
Our new tradition is to gather the first Sunday of the month of December, have a nice dinner, watch the Christmas devotional and then open the pajamas. A couple of reasons I made the switch. First conflicting schedules. Our entire married lives we have juggled our different family traditions. We each gave up something to make it all fit, but the problem is it doesn't leave much time for our own little family to start our own. Not without giving up more and I want my children to have the associations and traditions with their grandparents. That was something I loved growing up.
So we've been looking for ways to create meaningful traditions that won't interfere with what we already have and more importantly with what our future in-law families will bring. I am learning that the event isn't about a date or place, it's about the people who are with you and I want to continue to provide times when we can all be together.
Another reason for changing the date is I adore festive Christmas pajamas and would much rather see them all during December rather than all during January. I know it's silly, but I'm okay with it. However, I think I might only get plaid pajamas from now on. I love plaid, and you can wear plaid all year long.
Starting our new tradition, that is really an old tradition. John's mom would give the children a children's book every year, still, does. This year she gave us The Christmas Story by Robert Sabuda. The pop-up cutouts are beautiful and will hopefully last longer with fewer tiny people. I decided to start our Christmas book tradition this year now that Whitney and Andrew are married. I also decided to give all the children their own copy of Mr. Willowby's Christms Tree by Robert Barry. It has always been the children's favorite and a good place to start. The younger children thought it was crazy to give them their own copy to keep until they move out, but if I don't give everyone the same thing every year, but the time Loaf moves out, and everyone in between it will be a chaotic mess of who has what. This way we can all read together, and I can just put their books in their "when I move out" storage boxes.
New traditions. Old traditions. So happy to spend time together.