This time of year is such a special one. People are more thoughtful and act nicer towards each other. It’s the way we should act all year but we are more inclined to step it up during the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa don’t you find yourself being more considerate and kind to one another? There’s a magic in the air and it certainly makes it the most wonderful time of the year for me.
When I was growing up, we had some fun holiday traditions that made everything feel so special. On Christmas Eve morning we all volunteered to wrap gifts to benefit a charity. Then we did some last minute shopping and grabbed some dinner. On the way home, we drove around looking at Christmas lights.
On Christmas Eve night we all cuddled up in the living room to watch Christmas Vacation. Well, really we watched my dad watching Christmas Vacation because he always laughed so much and it was hysterical to watch him. Then we all got to open one gift (Christmas pajamas to wear that night). Once we put out the cookies and milk, it was time for bed. All three of us kids slept in one room together and listened to Christmas music as we fell asleep hoping to hear reindeer hooves on our roof.
The next morning we woke up at dawn and called down to our parents that we were awake. We were not allowed to just come running down. To prevent this, my parents came up with a brilliant idea. They put a small tree in each of our rooms and we would place small gifts to each other under those trees. In my sister’s room, she would have a gift from me and one from our brother under her tree. I would have one from her and one from our brother under mine and so on. This was a win-win for all of us. My parents kept us in our rooms a little longer and we got to have our own little sibling Christmas.
This 30” tree from Balsam Hill is similar in size to what we had. You can get one HERE.
Once we had exchanged our sibling gifts, we stood at the top of the stairs and yelled down that we were ready. My mom would come snap photos of us sitting on the stairs. Sometimes our pups would join us in the photo. My dad was setting up his camcorder during this time so he could catch our excitement once we hit the living room.
Then the Disney holiday record would come on (we played the same one every year) as we ran into the living room. Santa had a section for each of us so we knew exactly where to go. Mom made little cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa while we played with the toys Santa had brought and marveled that he had eaten the cookies we left for him.
Mom would try to get us to eat something but we were not interested - unless it was candy from our stockings! Then it was time to open the presents under the tree!
My brother (the youngest) always gets to hand the presents out. We would sit in a circle as he handed each of us our gifts. Somehow my parents managed to get us to not tear into the gifts right away. We waited until all the gifts were handed out and then we each took turns opening one gift and showing it to everyone. This is a tradition that still continues to this day - although now it’s an all day process since our own spouses and children have been added to the lineup.
If you missed my suggestion for great gift ideas for everyone on your list, you can check it out HERE.
Last year was the first year we couldn’t all be together on Christmas Day and I think that will probably be the case again this year. It has given my husband and I a chance to start some of our own traditions. We don’t have children so our holiday can seem pretty non-existent if we don’t create some special traditions for each other. What do you all suggest? Tell us some of your favorite Christmas traditions in the comments below!
From our hearts to yours, we wish you the happiest holiday season. Spread joy and kindness wherever you go!
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