Ho ho ho! It’s the first day of Blogmas* and we’re talking traditions.
Looking back, we didn’t really have set traditions for the holidays growing up other than being a Christmas Day family (by which I mean we didn’t open a present on Christmas Eve or read a special Christmas story or watch a particular movie, etc.). Everything was done for Christmas Day.
That bears mentioning only because our tradition, these days, is to gather at Mom’s on Christmas Eve for dinner and opening gifts. This came about mostly by accident back in 2006.
Aunt M had invited us all for Christmas to her house in New Jersey and on Christmas Eve, after dinner, we started a gameÂ of Cranium that we didn’t finish until after midnight. Someone remarked that it was actually Christmas, now, and someone else proposed we could exchange presents then and be able to sleep in in the morning.
Everyone scattered to collect presents, still unwrapped, from luggage and other hidey-holes, stuffing things in pillow cases or throwing blankets over larger items before reconvening in the living room. It was a silly, giggly moment of chaos and totally without pretension or pomp. We loved it!
And we most certainly slept in on Christmas morning before making a big birthday breakfast for K and then a lovely supper later that day.
The next year, when trying to decide when we were getting together for Christmas dinner, we thought back to how much fun our “Midnight Christmas” had been and decided to do it again. Only without the midnight part, since Mom wasn’t really keen on being up that late. This worked out incredibly well for my brother and sister-in-law as her birthday is Christmas day and they have to make a lot of stops with various family members that day.
We’ve continued the tradition of having Christmas Eve dinner and opening presents with the family for the last several years, and then Todd and I get a nice, quiet, and calm Christmas Day to ourselves where we exchange gifts and open our stockings. We used to host Christmas Eve as well as Thanksgiving, but when we moved to Thomasville there was a grumble about family having to travel so far (30 miles) for both, so Mom took back Christmas Eve.
Maybe the only thing I don’t like about this tradition is how it makes Christmas Day into a virtual non-event for us. With just Todd and I it seems silly to worry about when we get up or when we eat dinner that day or any specific events (Todd’s family is in Nebraska, so we don’t have the yours/mine/ours holiday shuffle to contend with). It also puts far less pressure on me to get the house all nice and decorated (which sometimes leads to a lack of motivation). Still, the downtime can be nice, and I’m sure we’ll make the most of it like we do every year. If nothing else it’s more time to play with our new toys–just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we don’t want toys for Christmas!
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As part of Blogmas* I’ll be posting every week day (!!!) leading up to Christmas. Make sure you check back and also check out some of the other participants who link up over on the host blogs!