Thursday, December 24, 2015

An Ashley Family Tradition

In just a few short hours I will be unplugging and cherishing Christmas moments with my favorite loved ones.  But, before I go, I want to share one of our family traditions that I hope you can adopt for your family.

Every Christmas morning my brother and I would rush downstairs to see what Santa had brought us that year. We would rip through the wrapping paper, screaming with excitement, tossing one gift to hurry and discover the next gift and before you knew it the living room looked like a bomb went off and gifts were everywhere.  My Sweet Mama really felt like we weren't truly appreciating our gifts or taking time to really enjoy each gift.  So she and "Santa" decided it was time to come up with a new plan for the kiddos.  When I was about 5 years old and my brother 9 we came downstairs one Christmas morning to find a sign in front of all of gifts that said STOP! "First, put on your new pajamas and your mama will explain the rest." So we did just that.  Then mama began to read "the rules"...

Each of your gifts has been numbered.  Now the trick here if you have more than one kid, especially ones who LOVE gifts from Santa (like me), make sure both or all kids have the same number of gifts!  Then Mama would randomly pull a number from her bowl of numbers that she had made.  "Number 7" OK,  now Brent and I would shuffle through our pile of gifts to find the present marked #7!  We would both open ours then wait for the next number to be called.  There is ALWAYS a present in the stack (usually the biggest box) that we were dying to open!  BUT, you had to wait till that number was called.  It was so intense!!  This process of opening Santa's gifts fills more time and also makes you really take in each gift.  Another added bonus, your parents get to see the excitement on your face with each present!  Dad's, your main job is to film the kids opening the gifts!  Oh and try to keep the camera steady!  I swear you need a Dramamine pill before watching our old home videos.

Sharing this tradition with you all brings a bittersweet feeling to me.  Now most kids stop believing in Santa and for me...I am almost 34 and I STILL believe in the magic of Christmas.  For almost 30 years now I have opened my presents alongside my brother with Mama calling numbers. It's just a tradition you never seem to grow out of.  This year will be our last year that we open gifts this way.  As of next year, I will be "Mama" and I will take on the role of helping Santa by calling numbers to our sweet "Baby G" on Christmas morning. It's a moment I can hardly stand waiting for.  A moment I have dreamed of and a tradition I have longed to pass down to my very own family.

May you all have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!  May you also remember that Christmas is about something way more important that opening gifts.  

I wonder what God wants for Christmas…Maybe peace on Earth, no more empty seats in church
I wonder what God wants for Christmas…What might put a smile on HIS face, Every Bible with no dust, the devil giving up
I wonder what God wants for Christmas…More sister, more brother, more lovin' one another
What if we believe in HIM…Like HE believes in us...

Merry Christmas! 

(all images via pinterest)

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