I think one of the coolest parts about Christmas is how every family has their own traditions and people are very passionate about their Christmas traditions. Issues arise when marriage occurs and traditions have to be shifted, but luckily I don’t have to worry about that any time soon! My family has many Christmas traditions, some of which have faded a little with age, but most hold on.
1. Magic Mouse: a magical Christmas mouse (little wooden figure with a bow) that moves every night leading up to Christmas day to be found every morning. Now I think of more fondly as a kind of poor man’s Elf on the Shelf. Really, though, our mouse was a heck of a lot harder to find than an elf.
2. Christmas Eve: nope, not church. Massive dinner of crab legs, boiled shrimp, backed potatoes, salad, and bread. How did this very nontraditional tradition get started? I have absolutely no idea. All I know is that I look forward to this meal the whole month of December.
3. Christmas Breakfast: mom’s infamous breakfast casserole. The one time of year we have it (though I started making it for weekend guests during the year at my house, too, but shhhhh don’t tell mom). The most delicious, greasy, all in one dish breakfast ever. We kid my brother every year that we are not having it. He would seriously leave the family if we didn’t.
4. Christmas gifts: Santa came on Christmas Eve and displayed our toys and gifts on the sofa, mine on one side, my brother’s on the other. Back in the day, I was bright eyes and bushy tailed by 4am and we had no rule about going downstairs before our parents. Below is the progression of Christmas morning timeline:
- The good ol’ days –> brother and I up in the wee hours of the morning, peek at gifts, wake up mom and dad, presents/stockings, eat, done by 9am
- The middle years –> brother too old to get excited, me up by 5am, go downstairs and fall asleep for an hour by the tree, everyone gets up, presents, eat, done by 10am
- The high school years –> up somewhat early, sit around, bug brother for at least an hour until he gets up, presents, breakfast, done by 10:30am
- College –> brother and I eventually get up, breakfast, presents, done by 11am
- Last year –> brother woke me up (first time ever in history), breakfast, presents, done around noon
- This year –> have to get up for breakfast, brother to girlfriend’s house for the morning, our Christmas in afternoon, probably done by 5pm
5. Gift tags: we have to try to have creative gift tags, not just “To: Mom, From: Katy.” Also, there are still gifts from Santa. There’s also the good ol’ “From: _______” whom we dub “Nobody” and he can be a pretty good guy.
It’s amazing how much traditions stay the same, but change. What are your Christmas traditions??