Monday, November 22, 2010

The First Day of Christmas

Day 1: Christmas Traditions

On the first day of Christmas...

We talked Christmas traditions!

My favorite Christmas tradition growing up was always spending Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family. My great-grandfather's birthday was Christmas Eve, so when my dad was growing up, he'd always go to Grampy's house with his immediate family, plus his aunt, uncle & cousins on that side of the family. They always had birthday cake for Grampy and opened presents that night.

Once my dad and aunt grew up and started having kids, they continued the tradition. Every Christmas Eve, we'd all gather at my aunt's house (pre-1991) or my grandparents' house (post-1991) for presents and general family time. We always have lots of yummy munchie food to snack on, and my grandfather always puts on the Andy Williams Christmas Special to play in the background. The menu typically includes: Shrimp ring, sausage balls, Chex mix, sugar cookies, warm ham sliders, warm pork tenderloin sliders and hot apple cider. Makes me hungry just thinking about it!

{Christmas Eve 2008: Cousin W is 16, Cousin B is 13, I'm 23 and my sister is 27 in this picture. Yeah. We're short.}

The most loved/hated element of Christmas Eve with my dad's side of the family, though, is the wait to open gifts. We have a strict rule on Christmas Eve. NO gifts may be opened while the sun is still up! We always wait until it is dark outside to open the first gift. Then, the youngest person in the family gets to go first, and we take turns opening gifts, youngest to oldest. For 4 years my sister got to go first. I got to go first for 6 years. My cousin W got to go first for 3 years. And my cousin B has been going first for the last 15 years. That will change this year though! This sweet thing has usurped the first-to-open-a-present title!

Due to my dad's work schedule (and now my husband's--they both work at our church), we don't always hold "Christmas Eve" on Christmas Eve anymore. This year I think we will gather on December 26th. It doesn't change the fact, though, that this gathering with family is one of my very favorite Christmas Traditions.

So, what is one Christmas Tradition that you love?
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Jen said...

I love how you do it youngest to oldest every year! So fun!! One that I am sure will last a LONG time!!

Molly said...

Thanks for joining in on the challenge!

Love your traditions.

Kit said...

That menu is making my mouth water :) Great traditions!