Many of our holiday traditions have evolved as we had kids, and as the children have grown. I used to spend hours assembling our tree, then putting on (and trying to "hide") the lights. Now, I drag the pre-lit tree from the garage, put it up in ten minutes and spend another half-hour trying to find all the little plugs to make sure the whole thing lights up. The older two swarm in when I'm done and have the whole thing decorated before my husband gets home from work!
We've gone from bows and store-bought ornaments to mostly unique, one-of-a-kind, handmade treasures.
I'm thinking now of the evolution of the Christmas lists. (Maybe it's the writer in me?) It's amazing to see how we've gone from yelling that they want each and every thing advertised on tv, to drawing pictures, to making three page lists, to printing out web links to--this year.
My eleven-year-old's list is only one page but is divided into columns. This year, she has made a separate column for the items she wishes to receive in her stocking, as well as under the tree!
My eight-year-old has not made a list. He has worried aloud, many times, that he does not even know what he will do with coal when he gets it. (Although, when they wrote letters to Santa at school, his went like this: "Dear Santa, If you bring me an iPod Touch, I will give you cookies and fetchables for your reindeer.")
The two-year-old is not making a list, yet. He has discovered that there are PRESENTS under the tree! This makes sense, of course, as we are practicing singing "Happy Birthday to Jesus." I don't know if he has figured out how Santa fits in to all of this yet but he certainly knows who he is!
They have each picked out at least one present for each of their siblings already. They've carefully wrapped them and put them under the tree and keep giggling, wondering if the other will like what they've bought. I hope that tradition never changes.