Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Traditions

Our Christmas traditions have evolved since we had kids. The holidays used to be a mad rushing from place to place to ensure that we saw everyone on both sides of the family. Now we take a more laid-back approach that focuses on the girls and making sure they enjoy the holidays to the best of our ability.

On Christmas Eve, we invite everyone over for a get together. Everyone brings hors d’oeuvres to share and we all hang out and enjoy each others company. Years ago, it was just my family and we did this at my mother’s house. Once there were grandchildren involved it made sense to move this to our house because we have more space. We also started to invite EN’s family as well. This year they chose not to attend, a story for another day.

Before the night is over, we exchange our gifts and the family room is lost in a sea of wrapping paper. My parents and aunt just give all the grown ups cash now, so we mostly watch the kids tear into their stuff. There are always screams of delight. This year the hot gifts were Nerf guns that my mother bought for my sister’s boys. Sugar and Spice were jealous that they didn’t get any and begged their cousins to share their guns. Sugar got a fabulous pair of silver sequin UGG-style boots from her favorite store and Spice got a cute pink pair. You better believe they put them on right away. The boots nicely accessorized their pretty Christmas dresses. 

The party is over by 10:00 pm and the girls set out snacks for Santa and his reindeer and are put in bed. By then, they are so tired from the excitement that they generally fall asleep quickly. Either that or they’ve learned how to fake it really well.

In years past, EN and I have stayed up until all hours, sorting, wrapping and piling Santa’s gifts around the tree. Of course Christmas morning always comes way too early and the girls are DYING to go downstairs to see what Santa brought, usually before the sun rises. This year, Spice had already put her new pink boots on before coming into our room.

The mad dash downstairs and opening frenzy doesn’t take nearly as long as it did to prepare… even when they pause to actually look at every item they open. Spice had asked Santa for “the nicest coyote ever”, wearing a pink tutu. Santa worked double-time to create this item at Build-a-Bear. He may have fibbed a little, as the store didn’t have coyotes, but did have a gray wolf. Spice did not notice the difference and was thrilled when she saw it, as indicated by the fist pumps and screams of “WOO HOOO!” Sugar had a bunch of items on her list including a comforter for her bed and some items she HAD TO HAVE from Justice. Santa seemed to come through for both of them.

We have coffee cake for breakfast and the rest of the day is relaxed. We hang around the house and nibble on leftovers from the night before. Typically, no one gets dressed on Christmas Day, we lounge around in our pajamas all day. This year the girls got a few gifts that they couldn’t wait to wear and put together some pretty ridiculous outfits. EN and I stuck with tradition and were slobs all day.

After rushing around to prepare for the holidays, Christmas Day’s mellowness is needed and treasured. The girls even forgot to fight for most of the day.

I hope that each of you had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed time spent with those you hold dear. I hope the laughs were plentiful and the drama was kept down to a dull roar. We’ll get our dose of drama later this week when we see EN’s mother and sister. I just can’t wait! 

Ice Princess

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