My parents and grandparents always made sure of it. My grandmother & I would decorate the house from one end to the other, and then my brother & I would do the same when we moved. Now, my kids & I do it too – we have tons of decorations, and every year, it seems, there are more.
We have a chalkboard that we got at the Dollar Tree last year that counts down the number of days until Christmas. Each morning, my kids erase the previous day’s count and update it. They ask me daily, when are we going to get the tree??? When are we going to decorate?
As much fun as Christmas is when you’re a kid, I think it’s even more fun as a parent. Getting to watch the excitement times two! And next year, Zachary will grasp the concept a little more, and I’ll have 3. TIMES. THE. EXCITEMENT!
Since we moved to New Hampshire in 2001, our Christmas traditions have evolved. We no longer make the trek to Rhode Island on Christmas, but instead we usually go a week or two before. This year, it’ll be a couple of weeks later. We’ve done this so that Christmas Day is reserved for the kids. There’s no rushing around, no 4 hour drives. Just presents, food, and fun.
On Christmas Eve, Jimmy will usually prepare a bunch of finger foods that we all love – home made mozzarella sticks, hot wings for me & Libby, pizza rolls – all those good for the artery foods that we enjoy. This year, I might actually cook a real meal though! The kids usually WILLINGLY go to bed early, and Jimmy & I get some time alone to finish up our wrapping, assembling and other assorted Christmas Eve stuff.
This Christmas will be very special since it will be Zachary’s FIRST Christmas and our first Christmas as a COMPLETE FAMILY! This is my best present and the only one I need.
On Christmas Day, I usually have to wake up the kids! That’s funny because when I was a kid, I was the first one up, and I still am! So I wake up my kids and then they go wake up Daddy. Then I’ll go downstairs and set up the video camera so that we can capture their reaction to the sudden appearance of PRESENTS! PRESENTS! PRESENTS! Once everyone settles in, Daddy hands out the presents. As each present is opened, they are allowed to open it and inspect it and check it out. None of this “Put it away till later” stuff in our house! There’s usually a “big” present to be presented, and then it’s time for breakfast. Last year, I found a wonderful recipe for this pull apart type cinnamon bun thing and so I’ll do that again – it’ll have been baking while we’re opening presents. So then it’s just perfectly warm and yummy for when we’re done.
Once breakfast is over, the kids can investigate their stuff more, and I’ll start getting things ready for Christmas dinner. Since Jimmy likes HAM so much, I usually will make a ham for Christmas Dinner – although this year, I am thinking of making both a Ham and turkey. I try to keep dinner smaller than Thanksgiving, though, so I can spend most of my time watching the kids play and playing with whatever new gadget Jimmy’s found for me. It truly is a family day. We spend very little time on the computers, and most of it together.
Even with the depression that I’ve been experiencing, I’m still excited about Christmas – especially since I KNOW what the BIG PRESENT IS THIS YEAR and I KNOW that my children are going to POP THEIR EYEBALLS RIGHT OUT OF THEIR HEADS when they see it! 😀