Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas Traditions

We are getting ready for the Santa parade which takes place this Saturday {in Olde Oakville, Ontario}. Last year we had the 'Grand' pleasure of taking our new Granddaughter to enjoy the fun and start a tradition that we plan to continue for many years. Baby Kya fell asleep part way through the event, but I think she may be a bit more of a party girl this year.

Sunday we will visit Santa and have the 'official' picture taken. It took the full energy of my Daughter and I to shop for Baby K's Santa outfit {trying outfits on an 18 month old is exhausting). We will have our video and pictures of the event, and then all go for dinner after visiting Santa. These are new traditions that our family is putting in place with this new little Angel in our lives.

via weebirdy
We have our family traditions for all of the holidays just as most families do. But there is something magically about having the opportunity to introduce something new or to share once again the things that delighted my own children. I have kept ornaments since my children were very small and passed them on to them. Although I changed some of the Christmas decor over the years, it was traditional for the most part. There is something warm and comforting when you open up the barely held together boxes each year and see those treasures once again.

I love these cardboard houses and churches covered in sparkle snow.    via
 I made several Lifesaver People to hang on our Christmas tree when the kids were small. This was a project I learned when I was in Brownies {oh, many many moons ago}.
Basically you run a darning needle with wool up through the lifesaver candy roll  (this is the body) - then you run it through a small styrofoam ball (for the head) - then you pierce it through a circle of felt (this is the hat). Make a big loop at the top so you can hang it from the tree. The 'arms and legs' are several lengths of yarn looped in at each end of the lifesaver candy roll. Glue on eyes, nose, mouth. And that is the lifesaver person. Ok - I clearly need to make one and post it on the site - they are cute and easy to make.

One year I found my three year old Daughter perched on the arm of the sofa next to the tree, she could not figure out how to get the candies out and was sitting eating the candy still hooked up to the branch. That memory plays over and over in my mind every Christmas, and I'm wise enough to know that is what tradition is all about.

My Son is now the proud owner of our bubble lites, which are originally from around 1987. My kids and I loved them and made sure each year that they were placed in a strategic spot on the tree. The lites heat up and the coloured liquid bubbles up the glass tube dancing magically on the tree branch.

Below is an image of Noma brand bubble-lites. I worked for this company before I had children, and this is where my ornament collection first started.

I have never been a designer tree kind of person, instead I lovingly unwrap the boxes of ornaments each year and marvel at their vintage appeal all over again. I have mercury glass acorn ornament that reminds me of my Grandmother, and several Cardinal ornaments that tug at my heart as I think of my Dad.

My Mother decided one year to buy a silver tinsel Christmas tree. It was the rage at the time {I'm guessing around 1965}. It was a wooden pole with holes in it, on a stand. The silver tinsel wrapped twisted wire were the branches that stuck in the holes to create the 'branches'. My Mom decorated it in red and blue ornaments. Now the tree is considered 'retro'; but to my Sister and I it is a memory of how cool we were at the time.

OK, not as cool as these ornaments............ but pretty hip for the time.

Not to say that my Mother lost her cool sense, but the Christmas decor developed into a more tradtional sense a few years after that. Pixies, bows, tinsel and some of my Grandparents original ornaments adorned our family tree.

via pixie urngarden

I loved creating Christmas traditions with my children, and it is so rewarding that as adults they continue on with them. It always made me happy when the kids asked simple questions at Christmas time like 'are we going to make those chocolate cookie drops on Christmas Eve'. One year I made a letter from Santa, rolled up and tide in ribbon, it had burned edges on the paper. Santa explained to my children that they had been very good and they must share the toys he {she} was leaving them. The letter has it's place of honour sitting in the branches of the tree every year, and my adult children laugh at me playing Santa to that level.

There is something incredibly fulfilling about knowing you have established solid roots for your children; and even the simple things like making popcorn and hot chocolate to have while you decorate the tree together translates to TRADITION.

It has been exciting the past few years sharing traditions with Richard in our new life together, and I know he is as thrilled as I am to introduce our Granddaughter to the magic of the season.

I love to read your comments, so leave me a message about your most memorable Christmas Tradition.


  1. I love vintage ornaments and those little glitter houses. Bringing out the family collection of holiday decorations is always such a joy. Happy holidays!

  2. Some of the decorations really take me back! The metallic pine cones and the lights are the ones that stick out the most in my memory!

  3. Neat decorations. Makes me wish I could go back in time.