Monday, November 18, 2013

Jingle Belles Holiday Traditions

Holiday traditions...there are just so MANY! How do you choose? Something I have found kind of fascinating over the years is how our traditions changed & evolved after having kids. There are loads of fun things that I did with my mom & sister growing up that I don't do with my boys (like opening stockings on Christmas Eve!) that I absolutely love, but just don't work with the myth of Santa Claus. And yes, both my teenagers still believe.

I'm pretty sure you all know by now, lol, but both boys have autism. Connor is 14, and Riley is 13, and although Riley seems to be a little doubtful, Connor still writes his Santa letter faithfully, and absolutely refuses to listen to any speculation that the big guy doesn't exist. We worried a lot about that as they went to middle school, and no matter what they hear, they make up their own minds. The pull of the magic is just too strong for them, and I completely support that. They have their entire lives to be adults, but precious little time left to enjoy the magic of being a child on Christmas morning.

Our Christmas day has evolved greatly from the time they were small. Decorations were a problem for a long time. Even something as simple as the library being decorated was enough to throw Connor off - instead of looking at books he'd have to pace along the shelves & touch all the books, as if to reassure himself that there was still order somewhere. We couldn't put presents under the tree before Christmas Eve until they were about 9/10 years old - they wouldn't open them, but the presence of presents was something they became so obsessed with that I would have gone absolutely bonkers. We still don't go crazy with decorating. The boys help decorate the Charlie Brown tree the first day after school's out for the holidays, and it's done however they like - I put the lights on & make sure that it won't fall over, and the rest is up to them. When they had trouble with eating a variety of foods, we'd let them have hot dogs on Christmas. In our view, Christmas magic is in the enjoyment of the day - especially in watching our kids enjoy the day - and if they love hot dogs & not turkey? That's ok. They've grown to enjoy the traditional meal, but I'm glad that we were able to let go of our ideas about what made Christmas "perfect" and focused instead on what would make Christmas perfect for THEM. These days that includes making sure that each pet has their own stocking filled with treats from Santa, a special breakfast, and relaxing. We don't rush around, we don't require a lot from them, and we sit back & watch them enjoy their new stuff.

So, my holiday tradition cards for Jingle Belles are with stockings & ornaments - two of the traditions we've always kept to!


Supplies: Stockings die cut from Kaisercraft; Peacock Feathers distress ink; sentiment from MSE!; Corner Chomper


Supplies: ornament & bow die cuts  from K & Co; sentiment from PTI; Stampendous Pirate Gold EP; Versamark; red rhinestones from Dollarama 


Thanks for reading my ramblings :)
xoxo,
Jessi

22 comments:

lostinpaper said...

Your cards are beautiful, but it was your story that I loved reading Jessi, your house sounds like a wonderful place to be at Christmas time. Hugs Therese

Marie said...

Oh my Jessi, what a wonderful accounting of your utterly delightful Christmas traditions. Now that's the true meaning of Christmas....Christmas doesn't come from a store nor is it under a tree.

Love your garland of stockings, so colorful and CAS. The embossing around the ornament is spectacular...what a great idea! Love both cards.

Angela said...

What a beautiful post, Jessi; I loved reading about your family traditions!

Your cards are beautifully done!

I'm a Little Teapot said...

Oh Jessi- it sounds like you all have the most wonderful Christmas. I so enjoyed reading about your family's traditions. Great memories to cherish for years!

Both of your cards are so sweet and happy! Such cute stockings!

walchowDesign said...

Thank you for sharing your Christmas tradition with your boys, I enjoyed reading them, Jessi!

Both your cards are beautiful and love the row of socks!

Lindsey said...

And that's the way Christmas should be... whatever works best for you. :)
Beautiful cards today, as always, of course!

SmilynStef said...

Love the happy colors of those sweet little stockings ... and the ink color you chose is perfection ... so glad you shared your holiday traditions with us at jingle belles.

Stacy @ Sweethearts + Sweet Tarts said...

I really enjoyed reading about your christmas pasts and traditions. It is so sweet your boys still believe! I love both of these cards; the stockings are just darling!

Greta said...

2 fabulous card, Jessi!

Dana said...

Ithe first card is so cute!! The second is gorgeous!!

Emily Leiphart said...

Gorgeous cards! Such a cute stocking sticker and that gold heat embossing on the latter is really incredible. I love the edges. We can't put presents under the tree 'til Christmas eve! Sounds like we still have quite a few years to go. :P

lauren bergold said...

absolutely *LOVE* both cards, and really reallllllllly love*LOVE*love this post! what a great reminder that the whole point of traditions is to enhance EVERYONE's holiday experience... and that knowing which ones to keep, which ones to leave, and especially how to take the BEST BITS and alter them to current needs is the REAL talent and joy of christmas! as always, it's impressive that BOTH PARTS of the "crafty mama" role are equally strong in you, missus!!! <3 <3 <3

Colleen Dietrich said...

I enjoyed this post, Jessi. Thanks for giving us a peek into your Christmas traditions, and why you do (or did) what you do (or did). My girls, ages 15 and 12 still believe in Santa. I think the older one knows, but doesn't want to stop believing. And who am I to stop her? My own mom tells me I should let her know that it's mom and dad doing the magical stuff. I say no way. I would hate to sound like such a Scrooge.

Your cards are very lovely, too, my friend. THanks for letting *me* ramble!

Nance E Salkeld said...

Both are gorgeous! I love those stockings! Love reading about your traditions. I agree -- Christmas magic and traditions are all what makes you happy or your kids happy. We did the same -- changed things to make it good for our kids.

Lyn said...

Cute cards and such a great post. It was nice to see Christmas through the boys' eyes. I believe that the magic of Christmas is what makes it so special! Let them write letters for as long as they will!
lyn

CinnamonSally said...

I love your cards Jessi especially your fun line of stockings, so cute!

Chris D. said...

Love your cards, as I always do, but your story was what really made me happy!

Asha said...

I enjoy your ramblings, Jessi. Nice to know someone else who can go on and on and on! Perfect!
It's lovely that your boys still believe in the magic of Christmas. I miss that and at Christmas I just don't enjoy being a grown up! LOL.
LOVE both your cards...and the embossing on the 2nd is flawless. Impressed...very!
hugs, Asha - Sunny Summer Crafts

Quip1320 said...

You have it exactly right. It's about making the holiday yours and your story and traditions are super sweet just like your cards. Love!!!

Debbie said...

Wonderful cards!! I love the stockings!! And more wonderful embossing!!

Thanks for sharing how you've made your family's Christmas special!!

Jen W. said...

They're beautiful ramblings! I love that you guys have kept Christmas the happy, magical time that it should be and not tried to follow some tv version of what people think it should be. That's really what it's about right? And not to mention a whole lot less stressful and more enjoyable all around. :)

Loving the die cuts and how they each capture such different style. Those bright stocking are my favourite!

Barbara Murphy said...

That's some excellent parenting my friend :)

And, sweet and pretty cards. I LOVE the movement in the first and the dimension of the second. You nailed this challenge.