My family has many Christmas traditions. Every year on Christmas Eve night, my entire extended family gathers at my grandmother’s house. We have a large feast together and exchange gifts. This tradition has been very dear to my heart since I can remember. I will never forget the excitement I had as a child in preparation for this night. Although I was excited for presents, these were not the reason for my excitement. My overflowing joy stemmed from the eagerness to spend a night with my whole family, especially my cousins who were close to my age, and my BFF’s for life, Jessany and Kayley. I honestly felt/feel magic in the air on Christmas Eve night. I loved getting all dressed up in our Christmas garb, and still do actually, although my dresses aren’t as cute as they were when I was six.
Later that night, we would walk across the street to home, and put cookies out for Santa and carrots out for reindeer. I always had a special Christmas night-gown to wear just in case I woke up and was able to caught Santa in the act. I had to look special for Santa. Today this time serves as a few moments for Brandon and I to relax together and unwind, just the two of us, and the hounds, of course! We read “The Night Before Christmas” as we get ready for bed.
Christmas morning was and is the most sacred few hours of the whole year. While these used to be shared with my mom and my sister, they are now shared with my husband, Annabelle, and Earl. We open our gifts for each other here- and yes, there is a bag for the dogs-, then head over to Brandon’s mother’s house to open with her and his brothers.
We spend the rest of the day at my mother’s feasting and opening and celebrating. It is by far my favorite day of the year.
Last year, I had to work on both of these days, and I vowed to never let this happen again if at all possible. I was absolutely heart-broken. This is another reason why I am so grateful for my current job!
This year we are starting a new tradition. Christmas night, our small group is having a worship service at my Mom’s house, since many of us will be there anyway. I am excited about taking a little time out of the hustle and bustle of the day to worship Christ for humiliating himself by coming to Earth in human form. I hope this is a tradition that sticks!
I apologize for random and somewhat rambling post! In my moment of nostalgia, I am going to share some Christmas photos over the past years.
I think I was about 2, almost 3 here with Santa. This was the year Jessany cut my hair off. I don’t have a 1-yr-old Santa picture because my mother is such a germ freak that she wouldn’t let me in public at this age. I was sick, though, so I guess it is understood.
This is the sketchiest Santa I have ever seen!
Remember these sweat suits?
Ok, so we skipped a few years, because my mom has all the other pics. This is my and my grandmother on Christmas Eve 2005.
Brandon and I on our first married Christmas.
Jessany and me. My hair grew back after 20 years.
We pretended to get her a dog, because she thinks they are nasty and doesn’t see the value of a good hound companion!
Brandon and Brycen.
AnnaB’s first Christmas!
What a wonderful Christmas present!
My sister and me.
We matched! Brandon, me, Jessany, and Matt.
My nephew Charlie and AnnaB. Christmas can wear a person out!
Mel and I love to exchange gifts!
Mom and Danny. She is excited about something.
Earl in the dishwasher. Earl loves Christmas more than any of us!
My sweet baby boy!
My grandmother and her boo under the mistletoe!
Yes, this beard is for real.
I am interested in what others’ traditions are. Please share if you would like.