The holidays are about tradition and every family has their own. Mine are morphing and I'm looking for new ways to celebrate or add to the festivities.
The Christmas gifts start early at our house. Santa just couldn't come to every one's house in one day so he fills the stockings during the night (on the 23rd) to be found Christmas Eve morning. Then in the evening the big show begins:
Our Christmas time has always been on the night of the 24th. Mainly because my mom is NOT a morning person, plus her birthday is the 26th and she wanted a day of separation between Christmas gifts and birthday celebrations. (It does suck to have a birthday near Christmas--at least my mom has always felt that way.) Everyone comes to mom and dad's house in the late afternoon. We hang out, chat, watch holiday movies and eat dinner--usually Bami Goreng (a lovely Indonesian noodle dish my mom does especially well). Then, when it's dark, Santa arrives and knocks on the front door with a big, heart-pounding banging. All the kids run to the front door and find lots of presents waiting there for them. We all sing out "Thank you Santa!!" as the gifts are gathered and placed near the Christmas tree. In the early days, my mom would hand out the gifts, 2 or 3 at a time so everyone could ooooo and ahhhh at each gift given. After the last gift is opened, we all shout out together another "Thank you Santa Claus!!" and then we gather ourselves and head home with happy hearts and arms full of Christmas wishes come true.
T was thrilled to find presents in his stocking. It was so heart warming to watch him open gifts he knew Santa brought just for him. The rest of the day was exciting too because he would be seeing his cousins AND Santa would bring more gifts on his way back to the North Pole. I still haven't figured out OUR family tradition on when to open the gifts under our own tree but this year Santa came and brought more gifts under our own tree (to be found on Christmas morning), but I'm not sure I'll keep that timing in the future. Sooo many presents and too hard to tell the story of how Santa comes for stockings and then later for presents in the evening. We'll see how it evolves...Either way, T was happy as "a pig in mud" (G-rated version since we're talkin' about kids here). The memory of the level of delight on that cute little face will be with me always. He was just as happy opening his own gifts as he was helping me hand them out to everyone else. His most cherished gift so far is the Leapster games he received. I love them because they are all educational and he loves them because it's fun! But every single gift is cherished and he's played with them all, already.
Everything went really well.
Until, the rather loud discussion between my sister and dad started up. It might have been a fight, but voices were kept to a loud rumble and actual communication was happening. All the kids were corralled outside and watched over by the adults not involved in the "communication" and at the end, my father had managed to alienated one more family member. Well, actually two: my brother is no longer welcome in my parent's home. Suffice it to say that counseling will be starting and I will no longer write about this topic on this forum. It is family stuff that should remain within the family. Every family has their issues, and we are no exception. But, boy, would I like to be!