Well well well, mes amis. We are reaching the part of Blogmas where I am getting super hyped for the holidays and running out of ideas to write about! I will be on winter break starting on Friday and I am so excited. Sleeping in, cleaning my house, reading books, and working out during the day time?! Yes, please! These are my Christmas traditions!
Hmmm… or is being annoying to Kevin in selfies my Christmas tradition? (Literally, I think I have a Christmas picture where I try to force joy upon Kevin every year for the past decade.)
None of this is true. My family has actual Christmas traditions that don’t involve me being a hot mess. Traditions that reach back years, traditions that might look super weird to outsiders. But guess what? I’ll hazard a guess that your family’s traditions would probably look super weird to us!
For quite a few years in the late 90s, during our second stint in Calgary, my family threw a massive (at least to my child-eyes) Christmas Eve party that they invited all my dad’s railway friends to. Santa even made an appearance most years!
Once we moved to Ontario in 2000 and had less family/friends easily at hand, our Christmas Eve traditions transformed. It became truly family time. We went out for dinner and saw a movie (Lord of the Rings was our go to for years and we were super relieved when The Hobbit came out, giving us another series to fill several years). Once we moved to BC in 2003, we found that restaurants weren’t open late in that province, so the tradition evolved to an early movie showing that we followed up with games and fun appetizers. Finally, in recent years, we’ve decided that going to the theatre is a bit of a hassle so we just do the whole kit and caboodle at my parents’ house.
One thing that has remained consistent through all the years is that, on Christmas Eve, we each open one present. I feel like this was an excellent decision on the part of my parents. It gives the kids something to play with in the morning and staves off the “we need to open presents at 5 am” begging. (To be fair, we were also always told we couldn’t wake our parents up/open presents until it was light out…)
Morning Christmas Traditions
Another great thing my parents did? They would put out all the gifts while we were sleeping, so Christmas morning was a thrilling visual surprise. (Actually, they still do this, despite the fact that we are grown-ass adults now…)
Also, I don’t know if you know this, but… Santa only brings little kids one present, not all the presents. He also usually doesn’t bring the absolute “best” present, that is from Mommy and Daddy, but he brings something special and unique. (My parents did this way before the recent discourse about how parents need to be aware of socio-economic differences when it comes to Santa. And I think they probably wanted the credit and love for giving the “best” present, haha. But it’s a pretty important thing to think about… how is it fair that Santa brings rich kids a tablet [or similiar] but doesn’t bring the same thing to kids from lower income families? Yesss… Mom & Dad Weir, being ahead of the curve.)
Our family also always really savoured our time together, expressing our appreciation for the thoughtful gifts we bought each other. We open our gifts one at a time and talk about them, rather than just ripping into everything. It takes hours. Sometimes we have to take a break for breakfast.
Speaking of Breakfast…
Christmas morning has always been the only time that we get to have a “special” cereal. (“Special” = sugary. Capt’n Crunch, Cinnamon French Toast Crunch, Fruit Loops, or whatever.) Again, though we are now fully grown adults, this is still something we do. I truly think that Kevin looks forward to it all year.
Christmas Traditions Today
Obviously, as we get older, these traditions have started to evolve. We might not see as many members of our extended family, as they develop their own traditions or, sadly, are no longer with us. Similarly, as we grow our own families, it is not always feasible to have all the Weir siblings and related parties together with our parents on Christmas Day itself.
But that’s okay. Our family has never been super tied to the actual day. We’ll let the holiday float around. We’ll do Christmas morning three different times, if that’s what we need to catch everyone! Our traditions are very transferable and, at the end of the day, it’s really just about all of us getting to have fun together…
What are your holiday traditions? Are they fluid, like us, or do you thrive on consistency? What tradition do you have that you think would look the weirdest from the outside?