Christmas Memories: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

By: Danielle.

The holiday season is chocked full of traditions. In my opinion it is what makes them so special. However, not all traditions are good. In fact, some families hold on to traditions far too long. When raising children, I think it’s really important to establish some traditions. It creates something to look forward to each year and be nostalgic about later on. When you are selecting which traditions to keep alive and which ones to let die out, be careful. Use this guide to help you determine a few traditions that might be perfect.

The Good

My parents made a point of making Christmas morning especially exciting. Any household that celebrates Christmas and has young children is pretty exciting the morning of the 25th. But my parents played it up. Yes, I’m sure this left them exhausted, and by the time we all accepted that Santa does not exist (shhh), my parents seem pleased to have extra rest. However, each year they would get us into bed as early as possible. Once we were in our rooms, red or green crepe paper would be wrapped around our doors. This meant there was no way for us to take early peeks. After a few hours of sleep my parents would wake and silently begin assembling Christmas morning. Whenever we woke-up we’d break through the paper and run screaming down the stairs. My parents would always be there waiting, drinking coffee, tired but happy.

The Bad

My parents are funny people. Kids are funny people. But when it comes to presents – all sense of humor is lost. Children don’t take kindly to bad gifts. As a young lass, I wanted a water baby. You know the one. It fills with warm water so that it is “life like.” I was hooked. We always got to open one gift on Christmas Eve. Instead of giving me the real water baby, my parents taped eyes and a mouth to the family hot water bottle, wrapped it up in a blanket, and put it into my arms. I was SO angry at the time, but see how funny it is now. This was my first gag gift and a solid attempt by my parents. However, I don’t think gag gifts can really be understood until a child is older. The one gift on Christmas Eve tradition, however, is solid.

The Ugly

My family has a tradition of always getting a fresh tree. In more recent years the tree has decreased in size but we still get a fresh one. The December I was sixteen I drove our family minivan with gumption. I was overly confident in my driving and got noticeably offended when my parents suggested someone else should drive. They stayed patient and chalked it up as necessary time behind the wheel. Just like any other trip I also insisted on driving when my family picked-up our tree. My parents were apprehensive because “it’ll handle differently” but I was persistent. They decided it would be good practice and we drove home. The van handled the tree so well, that I forgot it was on top. So when I punched the garage door opener and ignored my parents’ yells I effectively wedged our van under the house. With the tree on top, it was impossible to move the van any more into the garage or back out. We ended up having to cut our tree in half and pull it down sideways. This started the tradition of me not being allowed to drive with the tree and me being grounded on Christmas. Not all traditions turn out well, but as long as you’ve got friends and family to share them with everything will be just splendid.


Danielle, who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, hates winter but loves the holidays. The child of eternally proud parents, Danielle has a lot of embarrassing childhood pictures. These are to be burned, along with her journal, if anything ever happens to her.

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