How we celebrate Christmas
I thought I would write a little about how we celebrate Christmas in our family. I grew up in a low income family but my parents always gave us big Christmases. Mom would pay a few bills late to make sure we had everything we wanted (on our reasonable lists) that one day each year.
So I passed this down to my kids. Trying to get them everything they wanted. That was until I opened my eye’s one Christmas afternoon. That year we went all out and got them TONS of stuff.
As I watched them playing after the initial buzz wore off, I noticed that they weren’t even interested in playing with most of it. They each had 2-3 favorite items out of the bunch that they wouldn’t separate from. So I started thinking and the next Christmas we only bought 3 fun presents each. One bigger more expensive gift and 2 smaller ones. We also started buying undergarments and wrapping those in fun ways! Sometimes I wrap each pair of socks in different packages. They still have a PILE of presents and lets just admit it, half the fun is in tearing off the paper! They still have a blast on Christmas morning and we don’t have to break the bank making the day special.
So now to Santa Claus! In our house Santa brings a “Family Present”. When the kids were real little, we got things like the play kitchen and a barbie house. Over the years as the kids have grown Santa brought us trampolines, basketball hoops and even an Xbox. As the kids grow into adults we can do family trips skiing, cruisies, cabin in the woods, and more!
Santa also fills the kids stockings with fun trinket toys and some candy. Usually the kids find an iTunes card or CD in there too! Coloring books with a christmas theme are still a favorite stocking stuffer in our house. Even the big kids will sit and color.
So the next thing that is important is giving! We always give to some children. Some years its only been an angel tree. One year we packed up everything under the tree and dropped it off at a church. Our daughter came up with the idea and we all went along! We surprised them with tickets to Disney that year!
Giving is a major part of what Christmas is really about! My mom loved to give the perfect gift. My dad still complains about how much she spent on everyone but she really loved it. Her face would light up like a child opening a gift. The more excited the receiver was the more excited she got! Her smiles were never as big for the gifts she got as the ones she gave.
The last part of our Christmas is FOOD. I start baking in Mid-November and bake for 30 days. I give all these cookies and candies as gifts for most everyone we know (in town). The mailman, garbage men, and teachers all get a goodie bag. For more information on my holiday baking click HERE.
We also have a great cookie decorating party. We invite our friends over and decorate sugar cookies by the dozen. We also do a craft or two and have an ornament exchange. We usually have 2 separate parties, one for the big kids and one for the younger ones.
Our Christmas eve consists of eating appetizers for dinner, baking a fresh batch of cookies for Santa and maybe playing a game or two. We also go walk through our towns motion light show drinking hot cocoa 😉 On the drive home we go through neighborhoods with lots of lights and take in all the magic!
We open one present on Christmas eve; usually a pair of new jammies. The kids carry on a tradition my sisters and I had; they all sleep together on Christmas Eve. We tuck the kids in bed and remind them no waking us before 5 am. Before that they can have stockings only!
Bright and early at 5am we are awoken to the screams of “SANTA CAME” Mom and dad grab a cup of coffee as the kids show us everything Santa left and even how much of a mess he left from the cookies! Usually someone heard a bell ring in the night.
We then open all our presents! Eating a nice breakfast is next on the agenda and I go to prepping our feast! I love watching Christmas Story at least once on Christmas day! We eat our feast and desert is always a birthday cake. We always sing happy birthday to Jesus! So thats our’s, what is your Christmas like? What is your favorite part of the holiday?