Christmas Traditions

8:00 AM

Now I would never call my family "traditional", but we do tend to stick to traditions.  Well, only during Christmas...  Other than that it's basically a free for all.

Don't worry, our Thanksgiving traditions begin right around Thanksgiving with our annual family picture for the cards.  I cannot explain how painful and predictable this process is.  My dad will not smile for one picture.  In fact, his expression is more of a grimace.  One of my sisters is probably making an awkward face, or at least not paying any attention to the camera.  Mom repeatedly shouts, "It's going in the scrapbook!"  This is usually followed by the annual disappointment my dad expresses when he realizes that mom cooked five pies, none of which are blueberry.

Soon after begins our hunt for the Christmas tree, which is actually more violent than it sounds.  Throughout the firs and pines you can hear comments like, "But that tree is ugly!" and "No, my tree is better!"  We make rude comments about the trees as if it actually matters when we all know mom is ultimately going to pick whichever tree she wants.  Decorating the tree is... Well... Have you ever tried to decorate a tree with 4 people around the same height?  All of your ornaments end up in the same area.  Our tree contains ornaments collected through the years, and has no rhyme or reason to it.  Each year, each family member gets a new ornament.  Someone usually ends up mad because, I don't know... Maybe they don't have an ornament that matches the rest of the family's...  Maybe they should have thought about that before they decided to be born last.
There is of course, the annual driving tour of random neighborhoods with tacky light displays.  Cups of hot chocolate and debates about whether or not the windows should be open while we drive.  We're that family creeping around taking pictures of god awful blow up snow globes and light displays that threaten to cut off the entire city's power.  Oh yes, we even bring out the nice camera and then get out of the car just to get a better photo.
Today we'll our annual Christmas baking for Santa cookies, which is always full of arguments about who gets the green frosting next.  Sprinkles will be all over the floor and Radar will absolutely love it.  Dad will probably get his hands on a poor little reindeer and turn him into a zombie.  Mom will snap photos and they'll all go into the scrapbook.  We'll feast on junky foods, drink egg nog (or shmegg shmogg as I call it), and eat our weight in Christmas cookies.  There will be plenty of anticipation for Santa's arrival, and A Christmas Story will play repeatedly in the background.  We'll open our Christmas Eve presents (we're allowed one each, which is always pajamas to be worn the next day), and once we've posed for more scrapbook photos we'll be allowed to change into them.  Once we're all changed and ready for bed, dad will read us The Grinch.  He does this every year, and he even Skyped us from Afghanistan to read it to us the year he was deployed.  Once again, pictures.

Bedtime leads to restless sleep that ends all too soon with an excited whisper from my youngest sister, "Samantha, wake up!  Santa came!"  Christmas presents will be opened, followed by tons of thank yous.  Christmas breakfast is always delicious, and this year we'll be making omelet bites and southern biscuits and gravy.  Between the fashion shows the girls put on of their new clothes and trying to unwrap any packaged gifts, mom makes a delicious dinner... my favorite dinner of the year.  Delicious ham, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, corn, and more biscuits.

What are your Christmas traditions?

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  1. I've been driving around so much recently looking at outrageous displays of lights but i LOVE it

  2. I love light displays- that's one of our family traditions too. We're making Christmas cookies today- I'm just hoping my brother and I don't set the house on fire.
    I guess we're on the same brainwave, I wrote almost the same post today!

    xo, Hima
    Hima Hearts