We're getting pretty excited about Christmas around here! The gifts are being wrapped, cookies baked, letters to Santa finalized and mailed (so far the all of the kids are on the Nice List...so far).
I was out with some friends last week and we were talking about what we all do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and it's so funny how traditions vary from family to family. Some people don't wrap any gifts (because they're from Santa, duh), some put the gifts under the tree as they wrap them. Some open gifts on Christmas Eve, some just one special gift.
I thought I'd share our traditions with you, just because.
The day is pretty normal as the adults tend to work a half day. Later in the day everyone starts to get a little loopy in preparation of what the next day holds, and we light a fire, turn on the Christmas music and make sure any twinkle light in a 1 mile radius is lit.
We try (we really do) to hit the Christmas Eve Mass and then head to my parent's house where there are snacks and goodies. We each get one gift (for the little ones it's usually their Christmas pjs) and then we all head our separate ways to get the kids home.
Once we're home we get the kids in their jammies, read Twas the Night Before Christmas and set out the cookies and milk (and carrots) for Santa and his reindeer.
Madeline usually turns into a maniac because she needs to get to bed. Now. Because SANTA IS COMING! Hello?!!?
After the kids are zonked starts the mad dash to place the gifts under the tree, fill the stockings, eat the cookie, and so on.
Then hopefully, hopefully you get a few hours of sleep before the first "Can we get out of bed?" requests come in.
At our house the rule is that no one is allowed into the Family Room until an adult has been downstairs. This was we can light the tree, make sure everything is ready and see their faces when they RUN down the stairs.
The kids are allowed to go to the main floor of the house where they can open their stockings hanging over the fireplace. BUT since the Family Room is open to the kitchen (but below the kitchen by a few stairs) they have to stay in the Living Room. No sneaking into the Dining Room where you can see through the kitchen into the Family Room.
Once all of the adults have woken up (properly, none of this 5am business) we all take our spots in the Family Room.
In years past my dad was always the one who handed out the gifts. Now that he's gone we always hope my brother is in the country so he can do it. This year, sadly, he won't be here. So it'll be one of the adults. We hand each gift out, no free for all here.
Once all of the gifts are open we head to my mom's house where she does a breakfast of oatmeal, bacon, sausage, juice and pastries. Then we open gifts from her!
THEN, our family and friends all arrive at my mom's house for more gift exchanging, dinner, drinking, laughing, bickering (please, we're not the only ones...) and snacking.
Last year we all headed out to see The Muppets. This year we might (the adults) head to watch Les Mis. :)
So what about you? Any fun family traditions? Have they changed?
Only 7 days until Christmas!!! xo