I hope everyone has a great Christmas Eve/ Christmas / Kwanzaa / Hanukkah / Festivus / Solstice (what did I miss?)
For those out there that do Santa...does he wrap or not? Do you do the PJ's? Does everyone take turns unwrapping or do you just go for it? Do you have a traditional Christmas Eve dinner? Traditions? We are in Utah having Christmas with my parents this year. It was originally because they were going to be alone, but we started a trend because now we have EVERYONE but one family here for Christmas. We are having to coordinate traditions. Luckily, Lulu is the only one big enough to really remember so we get to set the tone this year. My poor inlaws (who normally have a house FULL at Christmas) are all alone. Everyone is at their inlaws this year. So, my mother in law and father in law are going to go out for Chinese and re-create the scene from A Christmas Story. When we all get home around New Years we are having "Second Christmas" at their house. Just what my kids need. A Second Christmas.
At Derek's house Christmas Eve is very formal. For dinner we dress up and have something like rack of lamb or goose. Then we open PJ's and everyone goes home. In the morning, we get the kids up to open gifts at our house and then we head over to the "big" house and do it again. We usually have eggs benedict for breakfast and the unwrapping goes on so long that we often take a break in the middle for breakfast. Lauren thinks that is terrible. The waiting, the fancy food. The adults think it is nice, but there is nothing that will make a kid turn into a crabby patty faster than a dress and roasted goose.
My parents do things very informally. It is all about the kids at this house. We have fondue for dinner and other munchie things (sweet and sour meatballs, cheese platter, brownies, artichoke dip, etc). They also make a big ham and turkey for everyone to eat during both days. We usually play a game of some sort on Christmas Eve. Santa leaves one big thing unwrapped and everything else goes under the tree. We take turns opening, but I think that this year that might change. There will be 17 people here this year, mostly children and no one wants to deal with that. During the day we nap, eat and just hang out. Nothing too fancy, very relaxing.
It is nice to have both a formal and an informal Christmas. Now, all I am waiting for is to be able to have our OWN Christmas. I know it seems selfish, but one of these years we are going to have it at our own house. No schlepping, no traveling...just home in my own bed, my own kitchen and letting the kids run crazy. No keeping them from breaking things at Grandma B's. No keeping them from fighting with the cousins at Grandma K's. Someday. For now, we will continue to break things and fight with cousins and be glad that we have both options.