Being married is always a test in blending tradition. You want your kids to have the same magical moments you had while growing up and your spouse may not see the value in all your ideas. Brian and I seemed to have had a similar childhood as far as how we celebrate holidays. We grew up with the same Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy...there are however those times where we run into some differences.
One tradition I LOVE that his family does is waking up the birthday boy or girl with presents. This is such a fun way to start your birthday! I love birthdays in particular so this adds an additional element of excitement. My mom taught early morning aerobics since I was born. She was often times teaching a class when I woke up on my birthday. She didn't forget me, there was always balloons and a goodie bag of treats waiting for me but the thrill of waking up and opening all your presents, dressing in new clothes, playing with new games all day during your birthday is something I see my kids truly loving. I am happy to pass this Martin tradition along.
Christmas-I had a fully loaded stocking...treats, nicknacks, make up, socks, nail polish, stuffed animals, whatever could fit in the stocking. My mom had this thing stocked! (pun intended) Brian's family had more emphasis on the presents surrounding the stocking...this is easy to meet in the middle. I put a little more than candy but leave more out to open.
Brian's family has "Thanksgiving dinner" for more than just Thanksgiving. They serve turkey, ham, rolls, green bean casserole, potatoes...for most major holidays. We had this meal once a year, Thanksgiving, so every holiday we spend with the Martins I am a little confused and think it's our Thanksgiving feast yet again. I often wonder if this would have been different if I didn't come from divorced parents, having holidays split up, the ones spent with my single dad did not amount to a Thanksgiving feast, it was Chuck A Rama, Godfathers Pizza or something easy like that.
We have been spending a lot of holidays with the Martins ever since we got married. I don't mind. I used to get more home sick, call my mom or dad and cry b/c I missed the family but now that's it's been over ten years that pain has definitely subsided as I feel they are just an extension of my own flesh and blood. I love spending holidays away-It's a chance for us to get away and make it a vacation. Now that my in laws have gotten a winter home in Arizona this is all the more appealing.
Being the Easter Bunny is another area we do things a little differently. My mom used to have a trail of candy leading to our baskets, sometimes it would spell our names in cursive. She also had candy hidden all over the main area...she hid this candy really well and we would sometimes find handfuls of skittles, jellybeans, chocolate months after Easter. Brian's family hid their baskets...they would hide chocolate eggs outside, inside, everywhere. They would have a temporary bag or basket to hold the chocolate eggs til they would find their basket. Being that we got ours right away, we added to what was already in the basket, bringing our findings mile high. I find myself wanting to do things "my way" for Easter. I loved having a trail leading to my basket and Brian loved searching high and low for his. Sometimes they would search for an hour! They also say "I spy" when they would see the hidden candy. It's funny b/c this is unnatural for me and I almost forget it yearly.
I bend a little, he bends a little and we create what our kids will hopefully want to pass down to their children. All in all it's far too much sugar and goodies but far too special to forget. Its times like these that add up my favorite moments of being a mom.
I have been interrupted so many times while writing this entry...back to family time. :D