One of the neat things about growing up and getting out in the world is that you get to find out just how strange your family is. You realize that things you thought were perfectly normal aren't. For example, I get the oddest looks from people when I tell them about our Christmas traditions.
Throughout my childhood, it was our tradition to hang our Santa letters outside on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. We'd hang them from a light fixture outside with a piece of bread. Mom and Dad told us that Santa's elves fly around in his magic sleigh on that night collecting all the letters for Santa. The bread is for their snack. The next morning, we'd get up and discover that the letters were gone and that someone had taken a big bite out of the bread. I did this every year, even after I knew the "truth" about Santa; I remember hanging out my list as a high school student. I remember very clearly the first time I told someone about this and got the "you did what?" look from them - it was in college. My roommate then asked why we didn't just go to the mall and tell Santa what we wanted like every other kid in this country. I don't think mom and dad EVER took us to the mall to see Santa.
It wasn't until I spent my first Christmas with Brandon's family that I realized that in most houses, Santa doesn't leave wrapped presents. I walked in to his parents' living room and saw a pile of unwrapped loot for me and thought, "Hey, who opened my stuff?" When I said something to Brandon, he informed me that Santa doesn't have time to wrap everyone's presents. I've asked a lot of people about this, and it turns out that most of them got unwrapped presents. Who knew.
So now Brandon and I are started our own traditions for the kids. I had them write their letters and hang them outside with bread, but we told them that the elves fly around every Sunday night between Thanksiving and Christmas (mostly because I forgot to have them write letters on Thanksgiving weekend), and Santa leaves presents that are wrapped.
I am wishing, however, that I had remembered to do lists last weekend. This past week Ella said she wanted to ask Santa for a Hermione Barbie doll. So I searched high and low for one online and finally had to bid for one on eBay. I won the bid, and the doll should be here soon. But when we were working on lists last night, Ella said she wanted a Hermione Time Turned necklace instead. Grrr. She also said she wanted an Easy Bake oven. So even though I swore up and down that I was finished shopping for the girls, I'm going to get her an Easy Bake oven. She had to get at least one thing that's on her list.