Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve Traditions

I've been enjoying the Blog Advent Tour, reading about what everyone will be doing in the next two days. I'm not on the tour, but I still would like to share what my Christmas will be like. We have so many traditions in my family, many of them are new, some are not. Sometimes, if we throw something new into our Christmas and Christmas Eve events, my mom has to tell us, "NO, this is NOT a new tradition." We have too many traditionas already.

I think I enjoy Christmas Eve better than Christmas! For the most part, we have the Christmas stuff done, so it's a pretty laid back day. If we have stuff to do, it's not stressful or anything.

In the afternoon, my dad and brother will set up the luminaria. When I was little, the whole neighborhood used to do them in paper bags. Now we are one of the few families that still does it, and we have electric luminaria.

We will eat dinner early, but not anything huge. Then, we go to our church's earlier Christmas Eve candelight service. My church is very contemporary, but on Christmas Eve, the only instrument on stage is the piano. There are no guitars, base buitars, or drums whatsoever.

Then we will drive around town with Christmas music on looking at all the houses all decorated. There are several neighborhoods that we visit every year because they have so many lights! We have a large holiday display about an hour away that we usually visit early in the Christmas season as well.

Christmas Eve used to end there, but in recent years, the festivities have been extended. Now we go to my dad's parents' house for their Christmas party. Grammy has a lot of food set out. My favorite is grampy's wassail. It's like hot apple cider, but much better. I'm excited for tomorrow just because of the wassail. I only get it once a year.

We don't stay long. We go home and open up two presents. They are always the same presents. My mom has given us one ornament each year so when we live on our own, we will have ornaments for our own trees. My mom does themed trees most years (red and white, purple, snowmen, 12 days of Christmas are a few themes), so the ornaments sometimes go along with the themes. We hang the ornaments on the tree.

Our second present is a pair or pajamas. My brother and sister get homeade ones, but mine are usually store bought. This year I am getting homeade ones. Most of the winter pajamas I have were Christmas pajamas at one point!

Then we will go to bed. Its usually around 10 pm at this point and we are tired. My parents don't worry about us waking up early Christmas morning.