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.
I’m right there with you when it comes to waking up in their own house.. It is just very important in my opinion. I feel kids need that magical time focused on just them and their siblings without the hustle and bustle of more adults and other kids . This gives them time to enjoy their presents and have quality family time in you pjs.
I think that being home with the kids is a great and smart idea as well. Also, the rules of not getting up before 7am, no one can go down to the presents to see without mom or dad and everyone taking turns opening are good too! I especially like the taking turn idea because otherwise they would all rip into everything, no one can see what the other got, and all that prep time of shopping and wrapping is gone so fast. In my house, as we got older (when the youngest was 7yrs or older), we were allowed to go get our stockings and look through them, but we still waited to do presents until after mom and dad got up or even after early church service. It may have been hard as a kid, but I totally appreciate it now!
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My parents had the same rule about going down to see if Santa came. What they did was if we left a pillow case outside our door, there would be a fun gift in it in the morning. We could open that gift and play with it until Mom and Dad were up. My Brother and Sister could join me to play together but we couldnt wake up mom and dad. It worked well and I have fond memories of playing in the early morning with my siblings.