Monday, December 24, 2012

What Christmas is

We don’t live around any immediate family members, so our Christmas is all about us and the boys. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We are able to be just the four of us and there’s no drama or rushing around. Even though I get homesick this time of year and feel a need to be around extended family and would especially like for my boys to know their cousins better, I really do prefer how we have it. We have been able to set our own traditions and keep to ourselves, which is our favourite thing to do.

We have a few traditions:

Christmas eve we open a present. The present consists of a new ornament for the tree and new jammies. This is a tradition that DH and I always wanted to have but have just in the past few years been consistent enough to make it a real tradition. We’ve always been a little late to the party on these things.

The boys are allowed to get up before us and open their stocking and play with their gift from Santa. Santa doesn’t wrap gifts. This is a tradition that I had as a child that I am passing on because it’s awesome. It makes it so that the children do not wake up their parents at 4am in order to open presents. They get a mini box of cereal in their stocking so that they can have breakfast. We were never allowed to have “sugar” cereal growing up, but our stockings were an exception to this. This made it extra special. Each of us had our favourites; mine was Frosted Flakes, Mrs. Bowie’s was Corn Pops. I can’t remember what Brother’s or Baby Sister’s was. This way, our parents could sleep as long as they wanted to. The major rule was that there had to be a fire lit and we had to be ultra quiet. I always thought this was a brilliant tradition, especially now that I’m a parent that is up half the night filling stockings and putting together Santa gifts because the boys take for-freaking-ever to get to bed on Christmas Eve. Mama needs to sleep!

The funny thing about Christmas morning – I can’t sleep in. I have never been able to. Not as a kid, and not as an adult. There’s just something about the magic of Christmas morning. Everyone’s quiet but excited and happy. The boys want to show me what Santa brought. As a parent, Christmas has become more magical because I see the light in the boys’ eyes. I love seeing their reactions to their presents more than anything. I don’t even care about my own gifts. This year we’re supposed to have snow on Christmas Eve – I’m really excited about that.

None of my siblings can sleep in either. I wrote about our first Christmas as a married couple and how we drove up to Canada to surprise my family for Christmas. I still got up at the crack of dawn. I heard voices downstairs, so I knew that someone was up, so I tip-toed downstairs and Baby Sister and her boyfriend were already up. Soon after, Brother got up and Mrs. Bowie and her husband arrived. DH slept in through all of this. It was after ten and he still wasn’t up. My family made me go up and drag him out of bed. I could not believe how he could sleep in on Christmas morning! He’s still the last one up. I have to lure him out of bed with waffles.

That’s another tradition: I always make waffles for breakfast (after presents are unwrapped, of course). I make waffles on special occasions and sometimes for no reason at all, but on Christmas morning, I have special Christmas plates for the waffles.

Christmas Day is usually spent in our jammies. The boys always play with their new toys together, and there is rarely any fighting. We don’t have a turkey because DH’s cousins always have us over for Christmas dinner a few days before Christmas, but I usually make a roast “beast” (like in the Grinch) in the crock pot.

Depending on what day Christmas falls on, we will go and see a movie. Before we had kids, DH and I went to see a movie on Christmas Day a few times. I loved it and wanted to make it a tradition. We don’t always go on Christmas Day, but we normally go and see a movie some time during the holiday. Santa usually gives us a movie for Christmas, so we definitely watch that movie on Christmas Day. We also watch the Christmas Story marathon, and pull out the old classic Christmas specials that we have on DVD and watch those.

I always have time to read on Christmas. I don’t have anything that I’m craving to read right now, so I think I’m going to write this year.

DH always takes a big long nap.

I absolutely love our low-key, mellow, just-us Christmases.

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