It is easy this time of year to get bogged down in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I often find myself more stressed than joyful as we finish Thanksgiving and begin the Christmas season. My husband often gets so overwrought at the materialization of Christmas that he gets rather blue. For this reason, years ago I determined that I would spend from the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day making as many memories and joyful moments as possible. I desire to make the gift giving as little a part of the holiday as possible, not because it is evil, but because it so easy for it to overtake the true joy of Christmas.
The first Christmas Tradition in our family is Black Friday. Yes, we do go shopping while it's still dark! Many years ago, my husband, mother-in-law and brother-in-law and I and whichever children we had at that time, first began joining the insanity. For many years we got up at 3:30 or 4:00 to be at the stores at 5:00. More children joined the family, but we kept going, seeming a little crazier each year.
Then came the year when we just had no reason to go, no great deals, no desire to venture out. That year, when I had nearly decided listening to the crying and whining (mostly the kids') was not worth it, I overheard my kids talking about how excited they were!
"We get up at like 3 in the morning, go get Krispy Kreme donuts, and go shopping!" I knew that we had to go, even if we didn't want to .
Since then, the last 3 years, we have done Black Friday only for the kids. Truly. They begin talking about how much fun it is weeks before Thanksgiving. I don't have the heart to not go.
So we kick off each of your Christmas Seasons with the official Black Friday. Now, however, we leave in the dark (7:00). Krispy Kreme is closed, so we have to get donuts elsewhere. We shop until shortly after lunch, come home and nap. It's really about the fun, not about the shopping. The kids whine much less, and we all seem to enjoy the day gearing up for the celebration of the birth of our Savior.
Please share some of your Christmas Traditions. Check out other interesting posts at Raising Arrows where I have linked this post.