When I was a young kid, every year Christmas Eve was spent at my grandma’s house. She invited the entire family and it was one of the few times of year I got to spend with my cousins who lived in another state. She always had a big bowl of nuts with nutcrackers on hand and we always got oranges in our stockings. After hours of playing, we would have a huge dinner, which for the kids was so difficult to sit through, because we knew that at the end of the meal we would get to open gifts. As the meal was wrapping up one of the adults would sneak downstairs & yell out “HO, HO, HO!” and slam the downstairs door. That was our signal that Santa had arrived and there was a mad dash to race downstairs!! These Christmases at my grandma’s house are some of my favorite and most treasured memories.
Now that I’m a mom, my hope is that my kids will have the same feelings about our Christmases one day. Although I wish I could give my kids the experience of the big family Christmas, we don’t have a lot of extended family, and the family that we do have lives far away. It’s not always a guarantee that we will get to spend the holidays together each year, so I’ve made it a point to develop our own little family traditions for my kids to get excited about each year.
I’ll be honest…I go a little Christmas crazy. I try to cram as much fun into the month of December as I possibly can and really make Christmas last the whole month! While we don’t have the big Christmas Eve of my youth, one of my favorite traditions we’ve started is matching Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve. It’s the one gift we open that night, and we all put on our pajamas, cuddle up and watch a Christmas movie, and after the kids go to bed I stay up late putting out all the Santa gifts and stuffing the stockings. My kids now expect their pajamas and get really excited to open them! Last year we got the Star Wars Hanna Andersson pajamas and those were a huge hit! I know it’s just a small thing, but I hope that my kids will look back one day on their childhood Christmases and remember our Christmas Eves spent together with that happiness that I have remembering mine.