For as long as I can remember my family has done the exact same thing every Christmas. That is how traditions are made, you do them over and over again. As we have gotten older the traditions have changed slightly but still were mostly the same. But just like in my Thanksgiving post, this year was a lot different.
Let me start out by telling you how we traditionally spend our holidays in my family.
It all begins on Christmas Eve with a large dinner at my grandparents home. When we were younger the meal consisted of several courses all served by my Grammy and one of the older grandchildren, either my cousin Trent or my sister Emily. These meals were amazing, lobster, filet mignon, crab, if it was fancy we ate it. After dinner, the adults would gather and drink while the kids danced and played until it was time for presents. Then we would all take turns opening our presents, usually going by age. After presents, we would play with our new toys and eventually leave around 10 or 11. When we got back to our house, we would open our Christmas Eve gift which has and always will be new pajamas. Sometimes we would watch a Christmas movie or just be too tired and go to bed. Except we kids would only pretend to go to bed and we would sit at the top of the stairs waiting for Santa. It was so much fun and those memories are the best ones I have Christmas.
As we got older this tradition began to change. Eventually we stopped eating a large fancy meal, but still good food that you served yourself and sat where ever instead of all of gathering around the large dining room table. It wasn’t as long of a night but we still left after dark. This only lasted a year or two, then it switched to mostly appetizers, everyone chipped in and brought something, but there was still at least one main food. And we got done fairly early. This year, there was an actual set schedule and we ended around 4 in the afternoon. It was still nice getting to see my family but it really did feel different. My sisters and I ended up at Kelsey’s house and spent the night playing Santa for Kendal, helped him set out milk and cookies, and spread reindeer food on the front yard. He eventually crashed while we stayed up playing cards. We still opened our Christmas Eve jammies but this year we did all matching!
Usually on Christmas morning we would all be at our parent’s house rushing down the stairs to see what Santa brought us. As we got older there was less rushing and with Kelsey having a kid of her own we all didn’t stay at my parent’s. This year since we stayed at Kelsey’s, it was all about Kendal. We all watched him open his presents and play with all of his new toys. This kid is obsessed with Ben 10 and Santa brought him everything Ben 10.
Traditionally, after we open presents we go to my Grandma Imogene’s for lunch and family time. There is usually a huge spread of food including Grandma’s amazing noodles. We all gather in her tiny but cozy home and spend a few hours catching up and opening presents.
Well, this year I had to pass on Grandma Imogene’s due to my stomach issues. I had been up almost all night and only had an hour of sleep. So when everyone left for Grandma Imogene’s, I stayed at Kelsey’s house and set up Kendal’s new television and Xbox. I picked up the house a little bit, watched television, and took a short nap. I got to hang out with all of the dogs so I enjoyed that immensely. After Grandma Imogene’s, everyone (except me) went out to my parents so Kendal could open even more presents. The day’s celebrations ended with Kelsey and I watching How To Get Away With Murder.
Tyler had his own family traditions as well but even his were different. He spends Christmas Eve with his dad and then Christmas Day with his mom at his grandma’s. When he got done at his grandma’s on Christmas day around 7, we loaded up the car and headed back to Indianapolis. He made an amazing dinner of baked ziti and we opened our gifts to each other. I got him a comic book, a new apron, whiskey, and I made him a coffee mug that said, “I love you…more than you will ever know”. He got me a lot more than I got him! I received a new cookbook, a new paring knife, ink for my fancy pen, comic books, a novel, new headphones, and a video game!
It is amazing how much things can change as you get older. Christmas still has a little bit of magic to me but it is no where near as magical as it was when I was kid. Getting to watch Kendal open presents was amazing. He was so excited by all the gifts Santa brought him, even though he was still a little tired when he got up. It made me really excited for when I have my own kids and we get to start our own family traditions. Overall, I had a great time getting to hang out with my sisters and an even better time hanging out with Tyler on Christmas night. While, I don’t want things to change even more, I know things will be even more different in the years to come but I interested to see what those changes will be!
I hope everyone had a great holiday, know matter what or how your family celebrates! With Christmas over, it means my birthday is right around the corner!