I LOVE LOVE my family's Christmas traditions. We have so many and they make me happy just thinking about them. We don't do all of them all the time, and things have changed and will continue to change as we add new family members, but they're still amazing.
Leading up to Christmas:
- Get 2 new ornaments: A miscellaneous one and then an angel for Melissa, a snowman for me, and a Santa for Joey. (I don't remember the last time I only got 2 ornaments.)
- Eat cookies: Peanut butter blossoms, bow ties, fudge, icebox cookies, chess pies, pizelles, etc. (Even though I don't like the latter three.)
- Decorate: Tons and tons of family ornaments; my mom's mom's musical church, painted Santas, and ceramic tree that I loved putting the little light bulbs in; Christmas books; and the snow globes and square pillows with faces that we don't put out anymore.
- Have a nice sit-down meal, usually steak and shrimp.
- Drive around and look at Christmas lights.
- Open pajamas.
- Light candles around the house.
- When we still believed in Santa, we'd write the note, leave cookies, and also cheese for Santa Mouse. (Apparently Santa Mouse is not very common with others I talk to.)
- Stay up all night with Joey and peak in the living room from the stairs. One day I'll need to write a whole blog post about this. I can't remember what age we started, but we would stay up and peek into the living room from the top of the stairs, and then slowly and quietly creep down the stairs so we could see what was brought. But we NEVER would actually leave the stairs or enter the living room, for some reason that was just unacceptable to us.
- Cinnamon rolls for breakfast
- Open presents one at a time, in age order, youngest to oldest. I always HATED that Joey always got to go first. Eventually we would switch it up so either the oldest would start, or I would start, or we'd alternate. But no matter who went first, it was always one person opening at a time, which I think is great so you can focus on that person.
- Homemade rolls and wedding soup!
- Open stockings last, which have been hidden. (In talking to many people over the years, apparently the fact that we open ours last, and that they're hidden, isn't common. But, not surprisingly, I love it.)
That's all I can think of for now. And just like that, I have a feeling the next time I listen to "I'll Be Home For Christmas," I'll be crying.