Christmas is full of traditions, from attending church services on Christmas Eve to watching Santa travel across the globe thanks to the constant updates from NORAD about his current location.
The day after Thanksgiving my family immediately puts up the tree. There are countless Disney ornaments around it and numerous handcrafted ones that plagued every classroom holiday party. Nowadays my mother has found pleasure in torturing us by watching Hallmark holiday movies that she insists she watches because ‘they’re so good!”. I make an effort to avoid the living room, as we are not allowed to speak while new premieres play on the television.
Slowly as December progresses the Tupperware containers on the counter begin to fill with an array of delightful treats. I will mention that my cookie decorating skills are much better than they were 20 years ago. I also seem to get more icing on the cookies rather than on my body.
The fireplace is fired up and every room is decorated with festive stuffed objects, wooden figurines, and garland is hung over the entry way as well. My mother recently attached mistletoe to the light fixture so immediately upon entering the house you can now expect a kiss from mom.
The Christmas classics are played throughout the final week leading up to Christmas, the newer films also receive a few plays, as we believe everyone should quote “Elf” at least once a day.
Once Christmas Eve finally makes it’s lavish entrance my extended family gets together to play games and tell stories. What was once a fun, innocent convergence, has now become a rather crude, comedic experience as Cards Against Humanity is one of our family favorites (I have 6 expansion packs).
In my younger years it was difficult to fall asleep on Christmas Eve. My siblings and I would take turns shaking our presents to try and guess what our spoils might be the next day. Now that I’m in my twenties and I no longer have access to my mother’s email address I can’t discover what will arrive on the front porch throughout the month of December. I now enjoy actually being surprised on this holiday, and actually get to sleep at a reasonable hour(sometimes).
Fast forward to Christmas morning. My siblings and I used to wake up at 6 am, now we’re lucky if we get up by 10. We grab coffee, homemade cinnamon rolls and some breakfast casserole then gather in a circle next to the tree. Being the oldest, I get to open my stocking first. My younger brother, Jacob goes next, followed by my gorgeous and single redheaded twin sisters (wink). Again, abusing my power of being the oldest, I open the first gift, always saving the biggest for last.
After leaving the living room looking like a TORNADO went through it we laze around the house until it’s time for our Christmas feast (perhaps my favorite tradition of all). What used to be a holiday all about presents is now a time where I cherish having everyone together as we celebrate spending time as a family. Our conversation, complaining, and camaraderie are some of my favorite Christmas memories, and I can’t wait for Christmas Eve to roll around so I can make some more memories this year.