When I was little, we would spend the holidays with my mom’s side of the family. I am an only child, but when your mom is 6 of 7 children, you have cousins galore. Every Christmas Eve, we would go over to my uncle’s house for a family party. A giant 6 foot sub would be on the dining room table with side dishes everyone brought surrounding it. Cousins of all ages would be running around everywhere. I have some amazing memories from these Christmas parties.
As the cousins all got older, we had our own families. Year after year, fewer people would come to the Christmas Eve party. So it was time to start our own traditions as a family. For the past couple years, on Christmas Eve my parents come over and we have Chinese food. My boys open up their presents from Mima and Papa while Christmas music plays in the background. Christmas morning, my parents arrive back at my house, bright and early, to see the look on my boys faces when they realize Santa has come. Since becoming vegan last year, I thought we would change things up a bit. So this year we are going to the movies on Christmas Eve (Mary Poppins! EEEK!) and then going to MOD Pizza (dairy free cheese and all the veggies please!).
When you ask most people about their Christmas traditions, they will tell you activities that they do as a family. For example, each year I put together a light tour and we drive around in our minivan looking at lights with a stop for a treat. We also have a family baking day where I have a legitimate reason to bake cookies all day. But I actually have a Christmas tradition that I do alone.
For the past 3 years, I pick a day close to Christmas and wrap all the presents while watching Love Actually. It is one of my favorite movies. But if you have seen it, you know it is definitely not kid appropriate. I set out all the presents and wrapping paper and am usually done before the ending credits.
If you look closely at the gifts you will notice there are no tags. Each year I pick a wrapping paper pattern for each kid. Then, before Santa comes, I place a piece of the wrapping paper into the bottom of their stocking. When they wake up Christmas morning, they are not only excited to see what Santa has delivered, they are also super excited to empty their stocking to see which presents are theirs! Added bonus, when I place the presents under the tree, no one even looks at them anymore! I guess they figure they don’t know who’s are who’s so why bother shaking the box! lol! Do you have Christmas traditions that your family does each year? I would love to hear them! Be sure to leave me a comment below.