Growing up Christmas was a big deal. Big parties on Christmas Eve into Christmas day, visiting family, large meals, fancy dresses, opening presents at midnight. It was like the atmosphere changed as soon as Thanksgiving was over, everyone focused on Christmas and how we were going to pack in all the food and fun in only a month’s time. I grew up in a large family, my mom was one of five kids and when we all got together it was 12 cousins on just my mom’s side. I am sad that my kids don’t get to experience having many cousins around during this time of year but we have been trying our best to give them traditions to look forward to starting at a young age. I honestly don’t think they’d care that much what the actual traditions were as long as we were together and enjoying each other’s company.
We always go out and check out the Christmas lights around the neighborhood! One of my favorite traditions now that we live in a neighborhood that goes ALL OUT. Seriously, so many homes in our neighborhood go above and beyond, they are even exciting for me to check out. One has a 10 foot tall Olaf! On Halloween Pierre got to talking to one of our neighbors and he told us that he stopped decorating his house because he couldn’t compete with his direct neighbor! Now I see why, his neighbor on the left has so many blow-up decorations on their front yard that you can hardly see the front of the house. I don’t think I’d NOT decorate because of the way someone else decorates but I can see now what he meant. We didn’t decorate the exterior of out house this year but I hope to next year, thankfully no one on our street is that over the top.
Our Christmas Eve has been the same for the last 3 years and I don’t plan on changing it any time soon. First go to church! Depending on what day Christmas falls on determines what day we go to church but for the most part it’s either one or two days before Christmas. Then, we have sushi for dinner and go to the zoo and check out the lights! Our zoo isn’t very big and the kids handle it really well. Plus all the light are so entertaining to them. They have a train in the back of the zoo so we walk to the back and ride back to the front when it’s time to go so we don’t have walk all the way back. This is a hit every year, especially the sushi. Yeah, my kids complain about pretty much every single home cooked meal I serve them but they jump up for joy at sushi. Rude. We never wait until the kids are in bed on Christmas Eve to put out the presents, we’re more of the wrap-them-and-put-them-under-the-tree-as-we-go kind of family. It did make for a lot of “don’t touch that” when the kids were younger but they know the drill now. I really like that I don’t have to wrap and hide a bunch of stuff leading up to The Big Day.
Finally, cinnamon rolls! Usually I prep them the day before and then bake them off in the morning. This is of course always a winner. Sugar for breakfast? Yes, please! I’ve tried the hot chocolate thing but for some crazy reason my kids don’t like it so chocolate milk it is. After we’ve eaten and the adults have had lots of coffee, Pierre reads about the birth of Jesus in the bible to us. We started doing this when Eva was in my tummy. I knew even before I was a mom that I wanted my kids to know why we celebrate Christmas and why we give gifts. In my family we give all the glory and honor to God on Christmas day for sending his Son.
Finally, we open gifts! It’s a lazy day, we play with their new toys and just relax. Lots of snacking, too! Think smoked salmon and crackers, salami and cheese platter, chips and dip, nuts, SNACKS. Then I make a really over the top meal for dinner! Last year I made this beef wellington that was out of control good. I’m pretty sure this year I’m making a standing rib roast. And let’s not forget dessert! Pierre grew up singing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas and when he told me about that tradition I knew I wanted to pass it along to our kids. Over the years we’ve made something different every year, cheesecake, red velvet cake, ice cream cake, chocolate cake, it’s so fun! I haven’t decided what to make type of cake to make this year but I’m sure it’ll be chocolate of some sort. OHH or maybe a coconut cake! I can’t decide.
Tell me some of your traditions!!