Holiday Guest Blogger Spotlight: A Frugal Friend’s Traditions of Presents, Goodies, and Decorations
Leading up to Christmas, my mom was always a big kid. Presents, goodies, and oh, the decorations! The kitchen was full of angels, the library was full of snowmen, and the living room was Santa-themed. To say she loved Christmas is to put it mildly.
In some ways I think it’s only fitting that the very last thing I ever did with my mom was help decorate her tree. While tears sometimes flow, the first week of December in my family is spent decorating our tree, enjoying traditions both old and new, and remembering my mom through it all.
First up is always the Christmas tree.
With its varied style and no real theme, our tree may never grace the cover of a magazine, but it tells a story. With each ornament added to the tree, I share a bit of history with my little girl. Oh, and because of that, it does take quite a while to decorate. Half the fun is in remembering.
With the Nutcracker ornament, she hears of the time Grandma took me to see the ballet, and how Grandpa slept through the entire performance. While adding a miniature Cinderella’s Castle, she’s told of how her Daddy and I have always collected ornaments from places we’ve traveled to. Well, almost always.
You’ll find a beautifully crafted Christopher Radko baby carriage ornament right next to a Kermit the Frog from the 1970’s. Some might even say they don’t belong on the same tree, but I think they are perfect.
Our tree has a history.
My 4-year old gets a new ornament each and every year. All my childhood ornaments are on the tree. Ornaments my mom made when she was first married are there too. You’ll find hand-stitched mice, stockings and Santas created by both of my grandmothers. You’ll even find two very special, very breakable, red antique ornaments……my great-grandmother’s. So special, I almost hate to put them on the tree for fear that they’ll break…..but it wouldn’t be the same without them.
Christmas Pillowcases, Advent Calendars, and Story-Time too!
When I was a little girl, my mom made us Christmas pillowcases that we would use throughout the month of December. Mine were so cute with bears, mice, rabbits, candy canes, and holly. During the last 30 or so years, those pillowcases have been used on my bed, but this year I’ve passed on the special pillowcase her Grandma made to my daughter. She’s been smiling ever since I placed it on her bed.
Advent Calendars have gone high-tech these days with hidden toys and such, but I remember the days when I would just open a simple tab to reveal an image or a phrase. While we still use the old calendars I’ve had since childhood, I have added a new fun twist on the advent calendar. We have so many new Christmas books (and old ones that were mine), that I’ve wrapped them all up and numbered them 1-24. A book is opened each night before bed. It’s like she’s never seen the book before…..such fun!
Oh, and on Christmas Eve, I’ve carried on the tradition my parents started of reading a well used copy of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”. My husband and I then read the story of Jesus’ birth from the Bible.
I hope that one day my little girl will grow up and continue these traditions. With each ornament and tradition, she’ll be reminded of great stories. She’ll be able to tell her own children stories about the Grandma she never knew.
I hope that I’ll be in the room watching.
Guest blogger, Debra is the mother of a little 4-year girl. While you’ll find her blogging about the best deals on everything from groceries to toys, with some personal stories, she’s also a crayon enthusiast, storyteller, and kisser of boo-boo’s. You can read more about Debra on her blog, A Frugal Friend.