Wednesday, December 14, 2022
There is such a sweet spot with kids when they understand and enjoy the magic of Christmas. I was telling Tom the other day I would love to re-live it but with my exact kids. We used to go to several events held by church, school, and community. I thought I would share our currest-ish traditions that have evolved since my kids were teens, I suppose. They are now 20. I was lucky to be in the same car with just my sweet college kids and we talked about some of their favorites.
We have always had an artificial tree, so picking out a tree was never a tradition for us. Also, I only had them sit on Santa’s lap once or twice and probably only if it was at a special breakfast like Christmas at the Zoo. We did all put the tree together and hang ornaments as a family. Now I like to have the tree set up and all the decor done by the time they come home for break. I didn’t have it up during Thanksgiving.
Here are some things that have pretty much stuck as traditions. Maybe some of these will appeal to you and maybe you can give me some ideas in the comments, too!
Church on Christmas Eve – a 4 or 5 o’clock service with just the 4 of us
Picking up Mexican restaurant chips, salsa, and queso to eat on Christmas Day – we like to have a breakfast casserole and then snack around. I haven’t decided what else I will make – maybe hawaiian ham and swiss sliders.
Opening Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve – as they turned teens this became fleece pants and maybe a plain long sleeve shirt but sometimes just pants
Opening a new game on Christmas Eve and playing it
Christmas Day waking up and seeing the gifts and the stockings. No one opens until everyone is up. We enjoy stuffing Ernie’s stocking and watching him with his stocking, too!
Baking and having pink merengue cookies on hand. They are a couple of times a year treat!
I am not going to say I will never do Christmas cards again, but I am taking a break. I did photo cards for 14 years. I still love receiving them, but it’s one of those things that I have let go for now.
My hall table with my cards of past:
On my side of the family, we are doing white elephant gifts – including all of the kids and adults – you are supposed to bring a present that is something you already have in the house. It can be a re-gift but you cannot go out and buy anything. We will play Dirty Santa with the gifts. This is a new tradition that we started last year. We only give gifts to my mom now.
We also decided to do a pasta party – each of the moms is bringing one or two types of pasta and we are having salad, garlic bread, and dessert. I am making baked ziti and bacon alfredo.
Tom does my stocking and I do his stocking. We also put stuff in a stocking for Ernie, as I mentioned. Ernie’s stocking says “Archie” because our Pottery Barn stockings are no longer available but I also like seeing “Archie” as a tribute to our first sweet chocolate lab boy. Ernie doesn’t care. He is chiill about it.
Our kids still get stockings. We also put the Santa gifts next to our fireplace and our family gifts under the tree. The Santa gifts were hidden until Christmas morning. No one was allowed to open until the whole family was up.
Also, Tom’s family tore into their gifts simultaneously like animals (Ha!) and I was appalled when I first saw this. We take turns so each person can see what everyone received.
This year, I would like to take a night for all four of us to go out to eat and see our botanical gardens lit up. I would also like to find a movie for all of us to see together. Since we have not been all together much since August, just time at home eating dinner is special. Our kids just love staying home and staying in their cozy fleece pants.