i see a lot of bloggers are sharing their Christmas traditions and beliefs so i thought i'd do the same. i've been in a bit of a slump anyway. i have a hard time writing when i'm really happy. much of my inspiration comes from either irritation or sadness. weird but true. when things are going really well, i don't have much to say! but i digress ;)
i have some particular views on the Christmas season and how it should be celebrated. ( i know, you're so surprised that i would have strong feelings on something, huh?) we choose not to do the whole santa thing. however, a few years ago the big kids decided they wanted to pretend santa is real so they could put cookies out. we were fine with that. as long as they know the truth i don't see any harm in pretend. last year they pointed out that the cookies were really for daddy and the carrots for mommy, lol. i'm also somewhat particular about not making Christmas about receiving gifts. for that reason, i don't allow a list made of what they want. while i don't inherently think there's anything wrong with it, i don't want the focus to be detailing all of the things you want. it's really not what it's about. so we don't do it. i know what they want without them making a list anyway. at our house, each child gets four presents on Christmas morning and one to open the night before Christmas eve (which is always a book). this helps me stay on task and keep it manageable. that's still 20 gifts, not including stockings! i will admit i go a bit overboard on the stockings. i love little gifts. each child gets a new toothbrush, a box of bandaids, duct tape and other misc items in their stocking. last year i couldn't fit it all in!
the night before Christmas eve, we let them open one present. this year we are starting a new tradition on that night of roasting marshmallows over the fireplace and watching a movie! i think they will be really excited about that. they like anything that involves smores... they get that from their mother!
on Christmas eve, we all take a long nap and clean up the house. that evening we celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. i love being in my parents house with all of my siblings. now that my brothers are growing up and off at college and whatnot, it's not often we're all together. it's always fun and there is something about it that makes me feel young :) we eat lots of unhealthy food and open gifts and have a time of worship led by my brother, Tony. we come home and tuck in the little people after they've set out the santa snack. we wait until they're sound asleep and put out the gifts. we don't have any under our tree until then. i think it adds to the excitement to wake up to that. plus i don't have to worry about peeking!
on Christmas morning, the kids wake us up as early as they can get away with. the rule is no earlier than 7! theMr and i get our coffee first while the kids vibrate with excitement. they open their stockings first and then take turns on the others. i give each child a tupperware storage bin to put their presents in as they open them so we don't have to separate after. with five kids it helps keep the chaos to a minimum. afterwards. they take their toys upstairs and play while we relax for a moment. we head to theMr's parents late morning and spend the rest of the day with them. we now have seven grandkids on that side so it's lots of fun. we eat and laugh and open presents and eat some more. by that evening, we are worn out! every year we hope that the kids are going to sleep in the next day but they never do!
what kinds of traditions does your family observe?