We all had family traditions for the holidays as we grew up and were able to continue these when we started our own families.
I think as grandparents we are now in a unique situation.
Many of the traditions can’t be carried on for different reasons. Some of our grown children have moved away and not able to get home for the holidays, and with so many blended families there are more schedules to try to accommodate. A few grandparents are lucky enough to have all of your children living in the same city. Another issue is that once our children are married, they need to share the holidays with their in-laws also.
I think the only solution is to try to incorporate some of your most favorite traditions while being flexible to make new ones. I want to share with you some of the things our big family does that seems to work.
My husband and I have a blended family of 8 children along with their spouses/significant others, 13 grandchildren and a few more from their blended families. Talk about difficulty in being able to coordinate schedules!!
Bob and I have our big family Christmas party the 2nd Saturday in December. This allows the children to attend events with their in-laws and still have their own family time on Christmas. I start all of my holiday tasks the weekend after Thanksgiving.
I decorate my house with family in mind. I have a tree upstairs that is decorated with Thomas Kinkade and handmade ornaments from my friend, Linda Bibbo @ L.B. Bear Christmas Ornaments, so this one is just for looking at. The downstairs tree is kid friendly and full of things they like. I add Christmas to every room in the house and outside. I do lots of shopping and baking non stop for 2 weeks.
We are very lucky because we have 2 big rooms downstairs that we can party in. One has the tree, and is where we open presents. The other is a big empty room that I am able to set tables up in to eat. I also make 20 cookie trays for family/friends. I line the trays up on these tables to fill them.
I still do a stocking for each grandchild. They are not stuffed full like the ones Santa does at their house but everyone enjoys this. Here are mine for this year. I did 18 this time.
Little Boys.. hand held stroble light, LED flashlight,stickers
One of the most fun traditions we started with the grandchildren is a game we play. Even the teenagers still laugh and enjoy this. I originally started it to stretch the evening when they open their presents so quickly.
We call it “THE RACING SANTA GAME”
I have a tub that I fill up with small gifts, cash, and gift cards. The prizes have evolved over the years and change to meet what I know they like.
Here are the prizes in this year’s tub.
To play this game, everyone picks out a Santa or Snowman, we set up a short track ,and the little wind up Santas race each other 2 at a time. The winner goes to the tub and gets a prize.. the loser plays the next person. Everyone wins! The poor little wind up Santa does not go too far and the kids are laughing hysterically at them.
These are a few of the traditions we do at our house. I will share some more in another post.
Bob and I just want special memories to come from the holidays at our house.