Thursday, December 20, 2012

All is Bright ~ Finding Fun at Christmas (part two)

Top five Childers' traditions (with adult kids)

1. Coffee.

We love to go out for coffee, which always leads to much talking and laughing. 

We have a tradition of enjoying coffee together  (when we are on the same continent) on  RED CUP DAY, which is the first day that Starbucks switches to red Christmas cups. 

We have lots of favorite coffee spots in Chicago ~ Starbucks, Ipsento, Letizzias, Intellegetcia, Metropolis, Julius Meinl ...

2. Christkindlmarket.

Because we spent so many summers in Europe with Royal Servants, we all love anything that reminds of those crazy fun times.

Chicago has a great Christkindlmarket ... beautiful German ornaments, bratwurst, and delicious mulled wine in a commemorative ceramic boot. 

3. Movies.

We have a lot of favorites and with our schedules we have trouble seeing them all together, but we try. White Christmas, A Season for Miracles, All I Want for Christmas, Little Women, A Christmas Story ...

4. Church.

Our family enjoys going to church together. At Christmastime we love ... the music, the decorations, the Advent wreath, The Lessons and Carols and the beautiful candlelit Christmas Eve service. (And our church has a coffee shop ... winning combo for the Childers' family.)

last year
 5. Family.

Dave and I both come from large families. We cherish the holidays that we have all been together, but most often it is "just us." And there is something sweet and simple about that.

When my parents lived in the Philippines, my mom always said, "I can picture just what you are doing on Christmas day ... enjoying good food, good movies, good books, and good conversation."

We enjoy being together. 

What are some of your favorite traditions?

image credit: market, movie, church


  1. How fun to be able to go for coffee with your kids, and enjoy the same movies...we love to decorate our tree as a family while Christmas music is playing; and reading Advent readings together ...Merry Christmas, Glenda...wishing you a blessed one with your family :)

  2. Christmas traditions at our house include attending the candlelight service at church and everyone plays Grandpa Al's trivia game for prizes while I get Christmas Eve's meal on the table. New Year's is a party that my grandson and I cook up in the kitchen and sometime during the evening, we go out to the driveway to light fireworks. When we come back in we put on look-alike clothing items for a picture to email everyone up north. The first year we all put on matching socks and sat on the floor in a circle with our toes pointed toward the center. This year, we'll put on Venetian masks as if we're going to a ball for a family portrait.

  3. Not so many traditions in my house BUT I do enjoy the uniqueness of each Christmas and where it brings me! Enjoyed lots of European Christmas markets this past week and it made me miss you Childers a lot!

    Merry Christmas Glenda!

  4. Hi Glenda, thanks for sharing all these sweet traditions. We have a favorite at our house which goes way back. Nowadays, with grown kids, we pretend it's Christmas on whatever day we can all get together. We do what we did when the kids were young; whoever wakes up first, has to start singing ............... singing at the top of their lungs, Christmas carols. No one is allowed to take a step out of bed till everyone is awake and is singing along! We even used to get the dog to howl on Christmas morning. :)

  5. I went into the state run ABC store earlier this week; it was time for my yearly bottle of B&B. I wandered around the store, just amazes me all the varieties of alcohol! I feel the same way about coffee shops...the one or two times I've been in a coffee shop, they call out those names of amazes me! I remember the first time Dave and I paid $5 for a specialty cup of coffee...I asked the clerk, "do we get to keep the cup?" It was a diner china cup; he looked at me like I was crazy and said, "ummm, no you don't." Apparently, only Dave and I were amazed that coffee was $5 a cup! -laughing-
    Now, around here, coffee is $1 at McDonald's (any size) and creamer/sweetner is included. Now, I know it's not Starbucks but if I squint really hard...nope, it's still McDonald's!
    LOL and Merry Christmas, Glenda!

  6. We played Taboo, but like in the movie "Four Christmases" it usually ended with yelling and sometimes tears! But great memories,except the guys always won.....they cheated! Every year we came back for more!

    Unlike my sister, I am not very traditional! Traditions make me nervous. I've always said, "don't do anything once that you don't want to do the rest of your life!" I like to do my decorations different each year. I like to decorate whenever I darned well feel like it! I'm hoping like heck our annual Christmas mouse doesn't show up this year! (He might be at my sister-in-law's house). I freak out when I hear inspirational Christmas talks! They do nothing for me! I am married to a man who doesn't believe in shopping until December the earliest! ("The best deals are still to be had", he says.) I totally believe in regifting! But one needs a good memory to pull it off! Like Judge Judy says..."if you don't tell lies, you don't have to have a good memory." The same could be said about regifting! Not that regifting has anything to do with lying, but if you don't regift you don't have to remember from whence the gift came!

    Here I am, the Friday before Christmas....home alone...and having a great time! But I know that before too long four huge men will come walking through my door, leaving size 12 to 14 shoes all over the place! They are all extrememly hard to buy for. I am a little girly girl with four men. Just try going to Bath and Body to find something for them! Think I can fill their stockings with candles, scarves, or trinkets? NOT! One of them would be happy if I stuffed a McRib sandwich in his stocking, but....not gonna happen this year! We are all under one roof this Christmas and having a great time! I get tears in my eyes already, just thinking about seeing them leave (I hope they remember to take all their shoes). I don't think they will regret that we don't have traditions that we follow. I think they will remember things like the time their dad tried to read the Christmas story on Christmas morning, but the youngest kept making weird noises, making us laugh everytime he started (we did NOT get through the story). I think they will remember the wild and crazy Christmas Eves at one side of the family, and the fun and loud Christmas Days at the other. I think they will remember that their non-traditional mother adores them and hopes that one day they will provide her with daughter-in-laws and grandchildren! Especially granddaughters...Bath and Body had great stocking stuffers! As one of my "little old ladies" that I clean for said to me, "you are one of my treasures" four men "are my treasures" and I think that is tradition enough for me and them! Besides, I wouldn't want to burden my daughter-in-laws (if there ever are any) with traditions that my boys expected, that she didn't want to carry on! I am freeing her of tradional expectations! She will thank me someday! Whoever SHE is!

  7. I love hearing about your wonderful family traditions! Looking forward to traditions each year is such a great thing to have in a family. Christmas music while decorating the tree and cookie making day with 4 generations are a few! Merry Christmas!

  8. You are lovely and funny, Sue. So glad your men and their big feet are all under your roof this season. It does not happen very often. Enjoy every non.traditional moment.

    You sister,

  9. My husband and I watch the Gaither's DVD 'Christmas in the country' over and over again

  10. The last few years Mom has been with us Christmas eve so it is wonderful that she is able to come to church with us. One of my favourite traditions is Christmas eve service ~ lighting the candles and singing Silent Night. I tend to get teary ~ overwhelmed with emotion but that is ok! We went to a Christmas concert this morning at my brother's church as the girls were all performing ~ it was the perfect way to spend the Sunday before Christmas. Merry Christmas to your entire family Glenda.

  11. I am so glad to have found your blog. I love your insights and feel I am have found a kindred spirit in you.

  12. What fun to read of some of your traditions - the coffee shops, movies together, etc. Just being together - the best thing about holidays. (Thanks for your visits to my blog recently, and for your sweet comments! I've been wrapped up with Christmas prep and family - glad to have time to be back here tonight!)

  13. From Drea - Every year, decorating soon after Thanksgiving - nativity scene and outdoor lighted garland come first. Mom always comes over to make Norwegian Krumkake with me, and I bake other Christmas treats too, like cardamom bread, sometimes rosettes or sugar cookies, and make Marzipan or Buckeye Balls. Advent calendars, Adorenaments ornaments, and our countdown envelopes on the tree pass the time till Christmas. We always go to Christmas Eve service, and always get together with both sides of the family. Weekends are packed with parties, festivals, community events, concerts, sometimes a train ride


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