This year I realized why Christmas in our home is so special: traditions. The days leading up to Christmas are filled with a comforting rhythm of repeated activities that are nonetheless exciting year after year. As a kid, I didn't really appreciate it, but as an adult, I've become painfully nostalgic, and at times militant, about adhering to these traditions. Here are a few of my favorite traditions...
Christmas Eve Baking (mandatory)
Some of our favorite recipes are as old as me (and some even older!)
Christmas Eve post-dinner neighborhood party: We have a spread of cookies that even Santa would envy, and we always warm things up with a coffee bar stocked with Bailey's, Frangelico, Godiva, and other yummy liqueurs. (and of course, hot chocolate for the little ones)
[not a tradition, but I ended up matching my favorite little elf. Definitely will be a future tradition though... my children will be my greatest accessories. (jk...kindof...notreally)]
We always play pool. I usually lose.
We always get to open one Christmas Eve gift... and it's always pajamas!
(acting surprised is part of the fun)
Usually only the kids get pj's, so mom and dad were surprised when they got to join in on the fun.
Christmas morning mimosas (which I certainly started appreciating more when I turned 21 last year... champagne undoubtedly trumps Sprite.)
[Breakfast non-casserole. For years my mom made casserole. And for years we hated it. Now we have a spread like this, it's kind of an homage to the old casserole, just deconstructed.]
After breakfast we open sibling gifts first in the living room. Then Santa gifts in the pool house, where there is always a fire burning on Christmas morning, even when this coastal town's forecaster doesn't get the Christmas memo.
1. Christmas Eve Dinner: Lasagna (a tradition that started in the Johns family when my dad was a kid, but we certainly don't mind keeping it up)
2. Christmas Dinner: Beef tenderloin. And my mom's sister and her family always make the trip from Raleigh to join us.
3. Tree-trimming music: Randy Travis- Old Time Christmas.
4. Scrabble. It's kind of like homemade Chex mix. My mom makes it, and it is pretty much snack crack. So addicting.
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?