As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog – this Christmas was just great. The perfect mix of rest and activity. Sleeping and socializing. Work and play. Christmas day (as with the rest of the week) was spent at my parents’ house. There are a lot of unofficial traditions that happen at my parent’s house around Christmas, and I have to use the word unofficial, because I don’t know if they’re worthy of actually being deemed a Christmas Tradition.
The first is that we tend to sleep in on Christmas morning. (see? not really worthy of being called a Christmas Tradition now is it?) We’ve done this a long time. When we were kids, we opened the bulk of our presents on Christmas eve, so even then, we weren’t really chomping at the bit on Christmas morning to open all the gifts. And now that we’re adults, we really realize the beauty that is sleeping in. I should point out that my dear mom does not sleep in. I’m about 98% sure she likes it that way, and she spends the morning getting brunch ready. There is always a large variety of good things to eat (such as oven baked pecan french toast), but for me, it’s not an official Christmas brunch unless there are cinnamon buns. (Which there always are).
After a leisurely meal, we clean up, and make our way to the basement for gifts. Dad reads the Christmas story and there’s always a debate over which version he’ll read – the Matthew story, or the Luke one. Over the years the translations have changed, and the device through which he reads have changed (gotta love the Bible apps on the smartphone!), but the story rings ever true and holy.
Mom is always the gift giver-outer (except for her own present – we take turns giving her one) and then after we all have a present in our laps, we go from youngest to oldest and open that gift. Nothing about that tradition changed this year, except for that there was now a new youngest, and my brother Dustin had to wait his turn. (and I’m pretty sure I could write a whole post on how great it was to see Ellie get excited about presents).
After an hour or so, mom usually starts getting ancy about getting the turkey in the oven, so she and dad head upstairs to heave the ol’ bird from the sink into the roasting pan, and then into the oven. Us kids stay downstairs and play with our new toys.
The afternoon is spent napping, movie watching, playing our newest Xbox game (*cough Dustin cough*), and helping prep for the big meal.
Our dearest family friends (who we spend every big holiday with) come over for dinner and the night is devoted to eating, playing games, 6 different desserts, and much laughter.
This year was no different. All of those things happened and it was a perfect day with family and friends. And so went the rest of our week. Ben and I took full advantage of our eager child-care givers and went out with friends, saw a few movies and rang in the new year sans baby. As a family we had great conversations, did lots of puzzles and watched movies, ate at unscheduled times with whatever leftovers suited our fancy that particular meal, and just in general, soaked up the holidays.
And that, my friends, is how we do Christmas. How about you?