One party down, a couple more to go! Don't you just love this time of year? The parties are always so much fun. I'm not sure if it's the party itself or the food involved that I love most. It's a toss up, I think.
Just wrapped up with Anthony's family party. I think it was a success, overall. The planning of it was maybe a little more dramatic than anyone would have wished for. No one could agree on whether or not there should be a theme, whether we should eat at a restaurant or at someone's home, or how to do the gift exchange. Should we go dollar store? Should we set a limit? Should we do homemade gifts? In the end, we opted for a theme (Christmas Around the World), a Chinese Buffet place for dinner and later meeting at my house for a program, and dollar store gifts (although some went a little higher). All I know is the less expensive the better for us!
It really turned out to be pretty fun. Each family (well, four out of seven) chose a country and did a little research to find out about the Christmas customs and traditions of that country. We learned about Germany (ours), Ecuador, Mexico, and Australia.
While researching for German traditions, I remembered a tradition my cousin had told us about a few years ago. She served her mission there and actually lived there as a young child for three years... military brat. She had told us about St. Nicholas coming on December 6 and leaving candy in the childrens' shoes. So, this year, we had our kids put their shoes in front of the fireplace... I had heard that he will actually come to the U.S. as well. There just aren't very many people here that know about it ;) When the kids woke up December 6th, lo and behold, there was candy in the shoes. Kind of weird, who wants to eat candy out of the stinky shoe? But it meant that they must have been good little kidlets. Otherwise, St. Nicholas' servant, whose name I can't recall at the moment, would have left them a switch. Hmmm, sometimes I think they could definitely use a few of those around here, especially for little C. But then I look into those big brown eyes when he says, "Sorry Mommy," and I just melt. Why does he have to have such big brown, beautiful eyes? They get me every time! The cute little STINK...
I think it's a tradition we'll keep up. Now the trick will be trying to remember every December 5th. It was fun to hear about all the traditions from around the world. Another one that I thought would be fun is one from Ecuador. It's not really a Christmas tradition, more a New Year tradition. My brother-in-law, who served his mission in Ecuador, said that they take a popular icon or something that represents the last year and make a BIG papier mache (sp?) model of it. Then they burn it! I can't remember if they do that on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. It would just be fun to try something similar to that. Maybe not quite as extravagant as theirs. He said one year, when the movie Titanic came out, they (the people, not him) made a gigantic ship about 50 feet tall and a whole block wide. HOLY COW! Can you imagine? Ours would have to be a much simpler version but it would be fun I think. What do you think? Have you ever thought of implementing someone else's traditions into your family?