We have not established many Christmas traditions in our house, yet. We usually rotate every other year and spend Christmas morning either at my sisters (out of town) or at my sister-in-laws (Charlotte). But we have decided that this is the last year that we will wake up on Christmas morning at someone else’s house. We do have a couple of traditions that have carried over from our families that have made our Christmas season special:
On Christmas morning,no one is allowed to go downstairs to see if Santa came with out Mommy and Daddy. So kids come running in our room first thing. We also have a rule that Christmas doesn’t start any earlier than seven to make sure that we aren’t opening up presents in the middle of the night. This can be hard on the kids, but it gives Mommy and Daddy some time to wake up before presents get opened.
Another tradition that may parents started is how gifts are opened. My dad always sat in a chair by the tree and handed out one gift at a time. Everyone would watch that person open a gift and then the next person, then the next. As a kid, this was exciting and nerve racking at the same time – to have to sit there and wait for others to open up their gifts. But we learned to appreciate the time that it took to open up presents. It made Christmas last longer and you were able to see the joy and excitement on everyone’s face as they opened each present. Even better, the biggest present under the tree was always saved for last!
As an adult, I have started one tradition that I love. I have a couple of annual ornament exchanges that I attend. And every year when I receive a new ornament, I place it in the box that I received it in and write the year and name of the person who gave it to me. Sometimes, I even try to reuse a box that was given of a memorable gift and place the ornament in that. It is so fun the next year and even years later to open up a box and know exactly who gave me that ornament. I still have one ornament that a friend gave me in the iPod box that I got that year. Every year I get to reminisce about the ornament and as well as recall that was the year of the iPod!
So that is about it in our house. I hope to establish many more traditions as we begin to spend our future Christmases at home.