Christmas Traditions?

Conor’s first Christmas is quickly approaching and the idea of creating everlasting Christmas traditions has been on mind. I don’t really remember us having a ton of Christmas traditions growing up. There were some activities that were always a constant..

  • When we decorated the tree we had to lay tinsel one strand at a time.  
  •  As we decorated we put on a Nat King Cole Christmas album that my Mom had as a girl, and listened to “I’m the Happiest Christmas tree”  
  • We did not open any presents until Christmas morning
  • When we came downstairs Christmas morning (as a group, there was no pre-entry into the living room allowed), after gushing over what Santa left, we then did stockings while Dad got into position with his supply of garbage bags.
  • Then the remainder of the morning my Dad handed out one present to everyone, and then we all opened together. Putting our wrapping in the bag, and moved on to the next.

    Conor’s First Christmas

As I write these, I see that they aren’t so much “tradition” as they were protocol. I loved it though, and I have so many happy memories. I seemed to have carried on these “traditions” with R. Minus the tinsel… because, nobody does tinsel anymore.

This year we have made sure to have some photos taken to document the occasion. They turned out beautifully.

Our sleepy little elf

I think we will make this an annual tradition of having photos taken around this time of year.

I have also been working on a stocking for Conor, so that he will have a special stocking that he an use year after year. R was of the opinion that I should buy a really nice one. I prefer to torture myself, so have been making him one. If it doesn’t turn out I’ll be buying one at a perfect time for discounts.

I thought an annual picture with Santa is a great tradition, and as parents I think we are contractually obligated. So, yesterday we decided to head out to the mall to get the first annual picture with Santa.  We thought we were smart arriving before the stores opened, as I noticed Santa was going to be taking pictures during that time too. Apparently not so smart, as half of the city evidently had the same idea.  We spent the next hour and a half in line, watching parents corral their kids, do their children’s hair and hearing screaming children as they made their way to visit the big man.

Conor promptly fell asleep in line. R kept giving me “the look”, and suggested that maybe we come back another time. I explained to him any other time would be just as busy, and we need to get this done or we are essentially bad parents. After meandering through Santa’s forest for over an hour an a half, with the sounds of Goldfish Crackers crunching below my feet.. I was starting to wish we had opted to come back.  Crossing the wooden foot bridge to the throne area (does Santa sit on a throne?), I caught a glimpse of the man of the hour. My heart sank a bit. From the side I could see his real beard beneath his fake beard, and he just wasn’t the Santa I was hoping to have. I turned to R and said “Seriously?”. R laughed and said, “I’m sure it looks different on camera and from a front angle”.

Luckily he was right. We tried and tried to wake Conor up, but when he is out, he is out. No matter how hard the elf lady jingled her bells or yelled out his name.. nothing. We did get a big yawn, a one eyed glance and then back to sleep. I was also pressured into buying the various packages that they offer. I now own about 50 wallet sizes, a number of 5×7 and 8 x10,  and R and I each have a key chain of this magical moment.

The magical moment. We were all exhausted. 

So far, we know Santa photo will be an annual tradition. I’ll have to have them done in early November when the lines aren’t horrible. I may scale back on the package!

I know that we’ll hang our stockings and do the cookies for Santa thing, read the night before Christmas etc.

What other traditions are there? I’d love to hear what traditions you share with your families.







One Year File Review

We are rapidly coming up on our one year file review this September.  It is hard to believe that nearly one year ago we were officially approved and placed in “the box”.  One year of waiting hasn’t been so bad actually.  Yes, there were times where we (me) become impatient, but generally I feel as though I have handled it well.

As our official file review is on September 30th, we have to complete the following items again:  Criminal Record Checks with finger prints for both R and myself and R’s Dad because he lives with us, medical reports (for each of us) and then an update to our home study.   Fun!  I have called and made appointments for each of our medical exams, and we are making the trip to the police department on the 25th to get fingerprinted.

Then we have to review our photos and such and determine if we are making any changes.  We won’t be making any changes to our profile package, it is strong and isn’t necessary for us to change anything at this time.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it is all worth it.  What we don’t want to happen is for us to get a match and baby is set to be placed in September, and our checks etc are not up to date.  That could delay the process.  With the adoption process, you need to have these up to date up past the 21 day period past placement.

It doesn’t seem like a lot of work for R because I schedule his appointments and he just shows up.  I think I need an assistant too!

I re-read my blog post On The Edge of the Box .  It was great to reflect back on that period last year, and remember all of the nervousness and excitement associated with awaiting approval.  The excitement still exists, but for very different reasons.  Now, we are excited because you just never know when you will get the call that you have been matched and selected.

What will be even more challenging is that when that happens, I won’t be sharing until after we have had our child for 3 weeks.  I think my plan will be to write a series of unpublished blogs during that time to document that phase… then when we can share, I will publish to the world!