Sunday, December 26, 2010

The 24 days of Christmas

My husband’s family tradition is to open gifts on Christmas morning. It became the day I dreaded. My kids would have so many gifts to open that wrapping paper, boxes and little pieces would go flying everywhere. After a little while the inevitable melt-downs would happen because the boys were simply overwhelmed and over-stimulated.

Trying something new

A few years ago, I decided to try something different. If my husband and I were going out to dinner, I’d let the boys open a gift each. They loved that idea. Which one would they open? What wrapping paper caught their attention? Oh the anticipation of what their aunt or uncle got them?

They would then proceed to play with that toy all night long and not give the babysitter a hard time over anything. They would also remember who got them that gift forever.

This year we got to the point where all the gifts were opened before Christmas morning. The excitement of Santa was that much more; all they had under the tree were Santa’s gifts. Now, Christmas morning is so much more relaxed and enjoyable.

Santa and Mrs. Claus have also gotten smarter about the toys that they buy as well. No more plastic! Everything is made of nice wood that helps keep everyone grounded. Marble runs, cherry blocks and gnomes were among the gifts that made the cut this year.

I’ve been thinking about Christmas and the whole gift giving concept. I’ve realized that the simpler something is then the better a person likes it. The more thought that goes into it, the better it feels.

Our traditions

Christmas used to be a lot more stressful a few years ago. It takes a while to figure out your own tradition and how you’d like it to be. We decided a few years ago to always be home for Christmas. It just feels better to wake up in your own home on Christmas morning. That by itself has allowed us to have traditions that we’ve come to love.

We now have the 24 days of Christmas where the boys get to open a gift prior to Christmas Eve as long as there's one under the tree, we have a fabulous Christmas Eve dinner with seven different kinds of fish, we open Santa’s gifts on Christmas morning and laze around all day and we thoroughly enjoy our leftovers while slightly hung-over. It has become such a rooted time of year for us that it brings with it peace that is inexplicable but totally tangible.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We totally enjoyed every moment of it. I hope you did too!

Your thoughts … I’d love to hear them

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Looking forward to a wonderful New Year's Eve!


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