Friday Five : Holiday traditions

Hello Friday !  I can not believe it is Christmas next week, where did the year go ? How was your week ? I travelled for 2 days and work is a bit intense, but that’s typical, especially this time of the year ! I am on vacation as of tonight, so I can not complain.

For this week’s Friday Five, the theme is Holiday Traditions. GREAT THEME !



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I love this time of the year and love the fact that we have so many traditions as a family. It is important for family bonding, for kids and makes for great stories. Here are just a few of my favorites :

1. Favorite tradition as a child in the US : my parents would group the presents by child and one by one we would open our gifts, each one had his turn. This made the pleasure and fun last, taught us to be patient and also think about others, not just rip our presents open and be done in 5 minutes. I don’t see my brothers nearly as much today because we live really far apart, but still love them dearly !



2. Favorite Christmas story : every Christmas we talk about one particularly SPECIAL Christmas. My parents got us a really big present, for the three of us. They talked about it for weeks. We couldn’t figure out what it was but boy was there excitement around that year’s ” special gift”. On Christmas morning there was a BIG box under the tree… how exciting. For the life of us, we had no idea what was in that box, which made it even more intriguing.

So we opened it.

And cried.

Our parents got us a box of encyclopedias. (of course I look back now and it is one of the best presents they every gave us, but it didn’t seem like it when you were 10 years old).

3. Favorite tradition with my kids : We watch the Polar Express.

4. Favorite tradition with my kids / husband : putting the tree and navity up the first weekend in December and taking it down the first weakend in January. We love enjoying them for the whole month.

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5. Favorite tradition with my husband’s family : there are over 20 of us (four siblings, each with 2 to 4 kids) and despite many of the kids / cousins being in their 20s, we all get together for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and usually have the same meal every year. That is also the time when we take pictures of the kids… I love looking back to see how they have grown.

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I love this time of the year, and the fact that presents have become a much more minor part of the holidays, and spending time with family, cooking, and just being together has taken the front seat.

Did you receive any surprise presents as a child that you loved or didn’t love ?

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Comments: 12

  1. Pam and Christine December 19, 2014 at 1:11 pm Reply

    I laughed out loud about the year you got encyclopedias for Christmas. I remember the year my sisters and I got underwear in our stockings and one of my sisters cried. Looking back it seems so funny to all of us and we talk about it every year! Ahhh the memories of childhood!
    Pam and Christine recently posted…Holiday traditions including a festive runMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration December 19, 2014 at 7:11 pm Reply

      Looking back, it was one of the most valuable gifts they gave us. Maybe if there hadn’t been all the hoopla before, the effect wouldn’t have been so big . LOL

  2. Coco (@Got2Run4Me) December 19, 2014 at 1:17 pm Reply

    OMG, I can imagine how disappointed you were to get those encyclopedias! Your poor parents, too – I am sure they cost a fortune! I agree that it is nice when the focus moves from the presents to the people. 😉
    Coco (@Got2Run4Me) recently posted…Running Treasure Hunt Fun With RunChatMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration December 19, 2014 at 7:09 pm Reply

      Yes, I think my parents were devastated that we were so disappointed. Three kids crying on Christmas is not fun.

  3. Darlene December 19, 2014 at 3:25 pm Reply

    That’s funny. I remember getting encyclopedias as a kid.
    Darlene recently posted…Friday Five – Holiday traditionsMy Profile

  4. Courtney @ Eat Pray Run, DC December 19, 2014 at 5:04 pm Reply

    lol at the encyclopedia gift. that is so hilarious (now, i’m sure it wasn’t then). lol
    Courtney @ Eat Pray Run, DC recently posted…Friday Five: Holiday TraditionsMy Profile

  5. Lacey@fairytalesandfitness December 19, 2014 at 9:05 pm Reply

    I recently just watched the Polar Express the other week. What a cute Christmas movie. It’s funny the older we get we realize how minimal gifts mean and how spending time w family is so much more of a gift.
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…How to Host a Murder Mystery PartyMy Profile

  6. M @readeatwriterun December 19, 2014 at 9:41 pm Reply

    As a kid, when we visited my grandparents, I used to play Santa and hand out everyone else’s presents so that I could open my presents last. My inlaws go round – each person opens 1, repeat – probably “fairer” 🙂
    M @readeatwriterun recently posted…Friday Five – Holiday TraditionsMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration December 20, 2014 at 1:16 pm Reply

      Definitely makes the fun last !

  7. Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner December 20, 2014 at 12:34 am Reply

    We like to open our presents one at a time too so everyone can see and it makes it less chaotic-sort of. Beautiful family photos! Happy Holidays!!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…5 Tips to Keep up Heathy Habits While TravelingMy Profile

  8. Jennifer December 20, 2014 at 4:02 am Reply

    Fabulous story about the encyclopedias. I remember when we got our set (not at Christmas) – I loved them haha (I was a bit bookish).
    Jennifer recently posted…Friday Five – What’s New IIIMy Profile

    • Karen - French Inspiration December 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm Reply

      We ended up loving them, just not at Christmas. LOL

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