Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Eve

I know it's just the time of the year, but as my kids get older I am much more cognizant of how I do things. Creating traditions and the like... Knowing that growing up, our traditions became more involved and now that I'm a mom, I'd like to create some of my own for my kids.

I was reading Momish, and she talked about to wrap or not to wrap. We, ok - my mom, wrapped everything. As things were accumulated, she'd wrap them and put them under the tree. Santa left gifts after we were in bed Christmas Eve - and they were wrapped too, only in different paper that we hadn't seen before.

Of all the tradition, this one sticks out the most. We always open one gift on Christmas Eve. This started when I was around 10 or so. I can remember as a kid my sister and I begging our parents to just let us open one. Pretty pretty please. After doing it one year, it became automatic. Now, it's usually something that we can't wait to give. Like, if I'm really excited about the gift I have for my sister, she'll open that one. The only catch is you can't pick what you open - someone else does.

One year, I think I was a senior in high school, we opened our traditional Christmas Eve gift. Everyone took a turn and opened one. It had gotten late; it was around midnight. Somehow between my sister and I, we tried to convince our parents to let us open all our gifts. Technically, it was Christmas. They finally relented when we promised we wouldn't be disappointed the next day. We laughed and told them we still had stocking gifts (Mom said as long as we believe, Santa will fill our stockings. I still believe.) and our table gift. We finished up around 1:30, and wearily crawled into bed. There was a certain giddiness that year, even the next morning when we should have been opening gifts.

There is something soothing about tradition, but it's ok to stray from it. Not too far, though... I still can't convince my mom to serve enchiladas on Christmas...


Momish said...

I had to run over the minute I read in your comment that you were going to write a post. I love hearing other people's traditions. We too open just one gift on Christmas Eve, also one you can't pick. Most years, my mother picked the PJ's so we could sleep in them that night. It was never a great surprise, but we loved having them to wear, so it didn't matter.

It is fun to stray as long as it doesn't become the norm! I totally agree!

I am so glad you wrote this, I am getting more and more in the spirit and anxious about Christmas, and that means a lot!

heatherzg said...

We are going to OH to visit my folks today and have Christmas with both sides of my family--totally breaking tradition but my grandmother will be 80 on Wed. and my uncle wants her to come to NC for Christmas. I told my mother it was being together that is the important part, not the day.

This gives me an opportunity to actually start some traditions of our own, it will be the first Christmas we've been in our house with the kids on Christmas morning instead of with my parents.

Thanks for sharing your traditions.

Tanaya said...

My husband's family has the same thing for Christmas Eve dinner every year - lasagna, salad, bread and cherry cheesecake. We all look forward to the meal, but it's a bit noisier with the addition of all of the grandkids in the past few years.

After dinner, we open our gifts to each other and drink Tom and Jerry's.

sAssY brOwn said...

We also have always opened only one gift Christmas Eve. After reading this, i'd like to start doing this with my kids. Since i've been married, every Christmas Eve, we go to my in-laws or his cousins place in the country & have take-out Chinese. Weird but fun because it's such a long tradition now...