Monday, December 12, 2011

Home for the Holidays

Now that Christmas is 13 days away, I thought I might share the details of my typical Christmas and some of my favorite holiday memories. 
My white board at work from last week!
 Let’s start with Christmas Eve. My dad’s parents are divorced and we have always done Christmas Eve at my grandpa’s house. The majority of my dad’s side of the family goes over there for a potluck style dinner and we do our gift exchange. We always call my aunt who lives in Oregon, well now we use a webcam. My family (immediate family that is) always stays the longest and we usually play a game with my grandparents for a little bit before we go home. This will probably move to our house next year since my grandpa’s house is not that big, but we don’t have enough chairs/seats in our house at the moment and didn’t want to feel like we had to buy something. 

When we get home us kids (my sister and I and now Dylan) get to open up one present and it is always a set of pajamas to wear for Christmas morning. Then we usually watch a movie for a little bit, finish up anything we haven’t wrapped yet, and head to bed. 

When my sister and I were little, we set up a little tree in our room when we shared a room or a tree in each of our rooms once we didn’t share. My sister and I usually slept together on Christmas Eve. Santa would bring us each a couple small gifts under the little tree(s). When we were younger, we would wake up at like 3am from the excitement and open our couple presents. It always included disposable cameras (to take pictures of Christmas morning, mind you my parents have like 14 or so disposable cameras they need to get developed sitting at their house…) and a bag of coal (the gum :) ). We also got two different games to play on the current game system in my sister's room. We would play video games until 7am, when we were allowed to go wake up our parents.

Then we would go crawl into their bed, wake them up and they would get ready and go downstairs. Then they would call us down so they could take pictures of our reactions to the sight of all the presents. Let me tell you, my parents and Santa always (and still) do a great job of Christmas. To borrow the adjective from one of the blogs I read, our Christmas is spectacular. We first admire whatever gifts have been set out unwrapped. When we were little this included Barbie houses, a snowboard for my sister, stuff for our Magic Attic Club/American Girl dolls. The out-in-the-open presents have since changed to electronics like laptops and iPods. Hopefully that includes a Kindle Touch this year…
My Parent's tree one year
Then we get to do our stockings. My aunt made my sister and my stockings and I will be going with my aunt tomorrow to the fabric store to make one for Dylan. They are always full of fun stuff! After stockings we have to eat breakfast before we get to open the rest of our presents. For presents we each take turns. Usually my sister and I have about twice as many as my parents, so we each will open two to their one. We try to make everyone's presents last about the same amount of time.

After presents are all done we may go eat some more breakfast (or cookies) and then get ready for the day and fiddle around with our new stuff.

Once we are all ready we will head over to my grandma's or over to my aunt's house, depending on the timing of everyone's day.

At my grandma's, we do a gift exchange with the family. The cousins (younger cousins these days, i.e. not me) draw names and get presents for that one person. The adults used to draw names, but now we do a $10 gift with a "white elephant" type exchange.

At my aunt's house, we all have gifts for everyone. We usually eat dinner with their family. Always prime rib and baked potatoes. Delicious! By far one of my favorite meals :)
My sister and cousins last Christmas.
That pretty much wraps up my Christmas activities! This year since Christmas falls on Sunday, my work has holidays on that Friday before and Monday after. I have two vacations days I had to take, so I am taking them that Thursday and Tuesday so I have a six day weekend!

How I love this time of year and I am glad to be able to enjoy my usual Christmas traditions!

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