We’ll be Home … Our Home … for Christmas
Six days and counting … and boy are we counting! The excitement level in our house right now is through the roof! So as Santa begins to pack his sleigh, the team of Charlotte Smarties thought we’d each share our family holiday traditions. It’s so fun to hear how everyone celebrates in their own special ways, so please share your stories with us throughout the week!
My fondest memories as a kid are those of Christmas Eve, feeling the excitement in the air as my sisters and I donned our matching Christmas jammies (you know, the fuzzy “faux-flannel” kind that built up enough static electricity that you could actually see them spark in the dark!) Anyway, the 3 of us would scurry up to bed to wait for Santa and scheme how we would wake each other up in the middle of the night to get a sneak peak of the goods only to find that my mom had put up the long forgotten baby gate to thwart our adventures (did she really think we wouldn’t climb over it??) And then waking up Christmas morning, dragging our parents out of bed (boy do I have a different appreciation for that now!) and racing each other down stairs to see what the big man in red had brought. After all the new toys were unveiled and the flurry of paper settled to the floor, we’d all sit down to a yummy brunch and chatter about the morning’s events before heading off to Grandma’s house to do it all over again.
When Matt and I started having kids, this was a family tradition that didn’t even require discussion. It was super important to both of us that Christmas Eve and Christmas morning were spent in OUR house. We really wanted our kids to experience the magic in their own home where memories were made year after year. Now the tricky part to that is that neither of our families live near by … so no afternoon drive down to Grandma’s house – we’re talking either a plane ride, or more likely a full day in the car. It was tough news to deliver to the Grandparents that first year and sometimes it’s really hard on us, when the paper finally settles to our floor and our extended families are beginning to gather 4 or 5 states away. But we realize it’s about the kids now and starting our own family traditions that will stay with them a lifetime.
Our festivities kick off the afternoon of Christmas Eve which entails the baking of cookies (and eating of frosting) to leave out for Santa that night. Then we have a nice steak dinner and some wine … listen to Christmas music and check for Santa on the online Santa tracker … drink some more wine … get the kids in their matching jammies (no static sparks!), assure our son that we will blow out the candles in the fireplace so Santa can get down the chimney and then off to bed to await Santa’s arrival! Then Matt and I have so much fun pulling out all the presents and strategically placing them around the tree for the optimal “wow” factor the next morning (which might be a little trickier this year with fewer gifts to work with …)
The next morning is the usual tearing through presents and then we sit down for a brunch made for an army. We stay in our jammies all day, playing with the new toys and watching movies and then instead of heading to Grandma’s, we head over to a friend’s house for dinner and a relaxing Christmas evening in the company of great friends.
And just so nobody thinks the Grandparents are missing out, we do typically travel over the holidays to see family – it’s just either the week before or the week right after Christmas. And of course, they are always welcome to come stay with us for Christmas!! While I miss seeing my family (or my husband’s) on Christmas Day, I wouldn’t trade our family tradition for anything.
Do you travel or stay put for the holidays? Share your stories with us!