I LOVE Christmas and all of the traditions that come with this wonderful holiday. When I was younger we would always do Christmas Eve with my dad’s side of the family. I remember we would have fondue for dinner (though I’m not sure we did did that ever time) and my Aunt Kim would always get us kids a piece of a Christmas Village. I know how my Christmas village set up in my own house. I remember watching the snow fall late at night on the way back home Grandma and Papa’s. When we would get home we would put out the milk and cookies for Santa.
Christmas Day we would always wake up in our own beds. Mom and dad had a rule that we could not wake up before the clock read six dot dot zero zero (6:00). I may be the oldest, but I was always the first one up. Once that clock flashed the magic numbers, myself, my sister, and my brother would head to my parents’ room to wake them up. We would kick my dad out of bed and get in bed with my mom while Dad went downstairs, turned on the Christmas lights on, put on the Christmas music, took the dog out, and got the camera ready to film us opening presents. Once Dad got everything set up we would head downstairs, grab our stockings, and find our spots on the couch. All five of us would then open our stockings at the same time.
After the stockings Mom would make the hot chocolate/tea/coffee and we would settle in to open presents. We always opened one present at a time. Dad would pick a present for my brother, he would open it and then pick a present for my sister. After my sister opened her gift, she would find one under the tree for me. Then I would open my gift and grab one for my mom. Then, of course, my mom would open her present and get one for my Dad to open. It was nice because we got to see what everyone was getting and everyone got a chance to play Santa.
After all of the presents were opened Mom would start breakfast. We ALWAYS had/have Belgium waffles. YUM! Then we would disperse to play with our toys until it was time to go to Nana’s house to celebrate with my mom’s side of the family. One year my Nana threw out her back and couldn’t get out bed so we had Christmas in her bedroom. There weren’t as many cousins back then, but there was still at least 20 of us there. It was pretty packed in that bedroom. After Christmas at Nana’s we would go back home and pick a movie to watch. We always got new movies for Christmas and it seemed like the perfect way to end a perfect day.
Tradition is what seemed to make Christmas so special. Now, I’m 31 years old, I live 4 hours away from my family, and I just got married. I have so many cousins who are now older, married, living away from home, and some with kids of their own. It is hard to find a day to get together to celebrate that accommodates everyone. I also now have a whole other family to share the holidays with. My old family Christmas traditions aren’t feasible anymore and I’m struggling to make new ones. Christmas is still magical to me, but I’m anxious to develop and establish new traditions with my new husband. What are some of your family Christmas traditions?