My parents separated when I was seven, so after that year, I remember Christmases the same way – Christmas Eve opening gifts with my dad’s family, a trip to my mom’s late at night, waking up to open gifts at her house in the morning and then going to spend the rest of the day with her family. We seldom deviated from this routine, and so when I married Mike, it was not a strange idea at all to open gifts on Christmas Eve. We always opened gifts from my dad before we went to his sister’s house, and opened our stockings from him when we came back from my mom’s. Mike’s family had a tradition of doing everything on Christmas Eve – stockings included. Because I’m all for immediate gratification, celebrating Christmas the day before it actually comes doesn’t bother me one bit. We open gifts and stockings on Christmas Eve at Mike’s parents house and Christmas morning we get to sleep in and then go back to their house for breakfast. The last few years, we’ve left the kids to spend the night (when they weren’t nursing anymore) and spent the night alone at our house. Since I don’t have much space for Christmas decorations, it is nice to spend most of the holiday at my in-laws, where it feels warm and cozy and is well-decorated.
The other part of Christmas Eve tradition is all the food we eat. There is a nice spread of appetizer type foods – smoked salmon, chicken wings, spanikopita, chips, crackers, cheese, dips, and lots of cookies and other desserts. Usually accompanied by eggnog and wine (not mixed together, don’t worry), this is a food lovers dream. So, tonight, I will eat myself to oblivion – or at least get as close as I can without vomiting. And we’ll open gifts, sing carols and take lots of pictures.
Do you have Christmas traditions that are unique to your family? Leave comments and tell me about them! Merry Christmas!!