In honor of “Journal Your Christmas” I thought I’d share a little bit about our Christmas Eve traditions.
Our special tradition on Christmas Eve is that we give each family member two gifts. One is a brand new set of winter pajamas. This is a ritual that I brought over from my childhood. Growing up, it was always such a thrill to get new pajamas to replace the tattered or outgrown ones from the year before. That way we’d be extra warm and cozy on what seemed to be the longest night of the year.
Do you remember lying in bed trying to fall asleep so morning would come more quickly? Or listening to every little noise wondering what was going on below the Christmas tree? Our bedrooms were upstairs and the Christmas tree and presents were always in the living room, which was directly at the bottom of the stairs to the right. I don’t remember ever trying to peek and see what was happening, but I do remember lying awake listening and letting my imagination run wild. There were a couple of times that I had to go downstairs to our only bathroom after bedtime and my parents stood in the doorway to the living room or closed the door to the room, blocking any glimpse that I might be tempted to steal. It’s all o.k. though, because the suspense of waiting is half the fun of the big day!
The other new tradition that Terry and I started was to give each child an ornament to open on Christmas Eve. These days you can find creative ornaments of every shape, size and theme. So each year we try to find an ornament that commemorates an event, hobby or theme particular to the year and the person. When Kevin played soccer he got a soccer ball ornament. When Amy was singing a lot we bought musical notes. Amy also went through a ballerina phase and Kevin plays guitar so each of those are reflected in their ornaments. We also started giving our son-in-law, Andrew ornaments. Sometimes it’s easy when they have a life changing event or a big trip, but as they get older it’s not always so easy so we’ll have to see what happens now that they have homes of their own and their Christmas trees are getting quite full.
These are some of Kevin’s collection of ornaments. Click to enlarge and see the detail. Aren’t they fun?
We don’t really have food or activity traditions on Christmas Eve. The food is probably due to the fact that growing up we didn’t really have any special meals that night and as our kids were growing up there was never anything that everyone asked for over and over. Is that a reflection on my cooking or the fact that the rest of the family likes variety just like I do.
Sometimes I wish we had established more traditions over the years when our kids were growing up. Do you think the holiday would be more meaningful to them if we had or is it good the way it was? Hmmm, I wonder…