Our Own Traditions

With Christmas Eve just around the corner, Tim and I have some decisions to make. See...we come from different families and different cultures and happen to celebrate Christmas differently. This year, we're staying home and it will be just the three of us. My parents will be in the Northern Lands and Tim's will be home in Arizona. We must take our different sets of traditions and blend them into our own special mix.

Tim remembers spending Christmas Eve 'vespers-style' -- stories, songs, family time. First thing Christmas morning, the boys woke up to full stockings and took them back to bed to see what 'treasures' they had received (nuts, deodorant, toothpaste??)...at least that's what he told me. Then, later that morning (allowing for some good sleeping in), the parents would join the boys for breakfast and a leisurely time opening presents together. The best part is playing with the new toys and games for the rest of the day, Tim says. Ken, Robin -- did I miss anything or get it all wrong??

I remember Christmas Eve beginning with good food -- fruits, nuts, kuchen, and other German delights. The tree would be piled high with gifts brought by aunts/uncles/cousins who had all traveled from afar to share this evening together. One child would be chosen as 'Santa' (usually me) and would get to pass out the presents. One by one the gifts were opened as we all watched and applauded. Grandpa would read 'The Gift of the Magi' and we would usually close with a short worship. Christmas morning would begin early -- we'd get out our new toys, play in the snow, play Chinese Checkers with Grandma, eat more good food and enjoy the day together.

It seems like so long ago...at least for me. Every Christmas since high school has been unique, not following set guidelines. I'd like to start our own family 'way' of doing Christmas. Some traditions that we do every year, so our kids will have concrete memories of the way we do things. We'll probably take some of what I'm used to and some of what Tim is used to and hopefully come up with something fun and memorable.

What traditions do you remember? How do you spend Christmas Eve/Day? We hope it's merry and bright! Happy holidays!