-I got to see the movie Twilight today! I read the first book in about a day and a half, and loved it. My little sister has read all of the books, and had already seen the movie once, so she was a bit tainted when we saw it today. She's JUST like me (maybe it's an oldest child and baby child thing...). We read ravenously; literally all the time. And so when a movie comes out of a popular book, we have high expectations. For instance, I was obsessed with "The Other Boleyn Girl" book but HATED the movie. Hated it. Andrea said she loved the Twilight books but hated the movie. But I went into the movie trying to be neutral. I had an advantage because the movie had already come out when I started reading the books, so I could picture the characters like they looked in the movie. But Andrea did say that she liked the movie the second time around. Alyssa hasn't read the books and LOVED the movie :o) It was great. I won't get into a long analysis of Twilight, but I'll sum it up by saying: worth the hype. I'm usually not one of those obsessive bandwagon people, but I really love this series. So read it! And see the movie!
-I saw on Leah's blog a little tag about Christmas traditions so I thought I would list some that I grew up with, and then some that Kurt and I are trying to start.
My Childhood/Current Family Traditions
-From the time I was little, we always decorated the tree together as a family. We would put on Christmas music and enjoy hanging ornaments. I loved this, because I became so familiar with all of the ornaments that are on our tree; every year it was like revisiting them.
-Santa would always come early to my family. We grew up going to my mom's parents' in Arkansas for the days surrounding Christmas, so Santa made an exception for us and brought our things early (I always loved pointing this out to kids at school). We would come downstairs in the morning all together with Dadddy manning the video recorder, and my mom displayed everything in separate little areas for us. It was chaotic and fun and exciting; just what Christmas "morning" should be like.
-Like I said, we spent every Christmas in Arkansas. For the longest time, my dad's parents lived in Florida, and making the trip was really difficult at our young ages. We always saw them in the summer. So a lot of my holiday memories revolve around how my grandparents' house looked at Christmas. Decorations were everywhere, and we always had Christmas cookies from Rick's Bakery.
-For many years, we acted out the nativity scene as a family. Many laughs and good home videos came from this. I always took the role of Director, and I took it extremely seriously (Type A from day one).
-Mostly, the traditions in my family have always centered around the spiritual significance of Christmas, which I'm very thankful for. I've been blessed!
Traditions for Us (the Lancasters)
-We have already bought Elf of the Shelf to incorporate every year, and I'm really looking forward to this. Children only believe for such a short time in Santa and the "magical" elements of Christmas. I want to make that time as special as possible.
-We plan on spending time with both sides of our family for each holiday. It's important to us for both sets of grandparents and family to be included each time. We will be flexible and we know this might not always happen, but it's our goal.
-Kurt and I want to always have a special time to ourselves to exchange our gifts to each other, even if it's only one special one. If that's midnight on December 12th, so be it! We just want that time together.
-I want to pile everyone in the car and eat Christmas cookies and go look at Christmas lights. There's just something about it that's fun.
-I would like to incorporate celebrating Advent into the season. For those who have been reading my blog awhile, I love learning about traditions like Passover, etc. I believe the Christians need more of them, especially when it comes to teaching children about the heritage of our faith. Tiffany has written some great things about Advent, which I'm learning more about.
-This goes without saying, but the most important thing to me and Kurt is to never lose sight of what this beautiful season is all about. Children (and adults) are bombarded with materialism this time of year (I'm guilty myself!) and remembering to simplify will be a goal of mine.
Have a great day!