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How did your Christmas traditions begin? Were they passed down or did you start them?

Before Hubby and I got married, we never discussed how we would celebrate holidays. So many other points of discussion too precedence, and rightfully so. When our first Christmas together as a couple came around, I assumed we’d be with my family and celebrate along with them.

On Christmas eve, our family got together for a nice meal, then played games until bedtime. Christmas morning, we’d rise and pass out gifts. After that, it was a free-for-all, with everyone opening gifts and shouting out what they found. After half an hour or so, it was over, and the kids played in the wrapping papers and bows strewn all over the living room.

Hubby’s family practiced a very orderly Christmas compared to my family. On Christmas eve, they gathered and handed out the gifts. Each person opened one gift and held it up for everyone to see. Then the next person would do the same, and so on around the room. After a couple of hours or so, all the gifts had been opened and everyone knew what everyone else got. On Christmas morning, they had breakfast and started cooking for the big meal later in the day.

A couple of years after we got married, Hubby said he didn’t know why his family traditions had to give way to mine. That was a fair question, and I couldn’t answer it. So as a couple, we came up with our own family tradition for Christmas. We combined the two traditions. On Christmas eve, we gathered around our tree, handed out gifts, and opened them one at a time. We put back a gift or two for Christmas morning when we would gather and rip them open in a frenzy. Our kids loved having two gift-opening events.

Over time, we fine-tuned our tradition. At first, Christmas eve was junk food night with a very large sandwich, chips, crackers, candy, and anything else we rarely ate because it was bad for us. After stuffing ourselves, we opened gifts. As we aged, that tradition went away. We still have a few things considered as junk food, but mostly includes healthy things. We don’t save gifts for Christmas morning anymore, but we have stockings with little goodies inside to open.

The worst holiday tradition was taking down the tree right after opening stockings and before Christmas Day breakfast. Hubby was always in a rush to get the living room “back to normal.” That’s one tradition kiboshed by the next generation.

I love that our children grew up in a home where good traditions were blended and passed on to them. Every family should have special traditions to make great memories. Those memories are some of the best times we ever had.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

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