Last night we had a house full of my relatives for our annual Wige Christmas. In years past our family got together every year on Christmas Eve. Now we switch it up every other year in a way to compromise. It gets difficult when people get married into other families and their traditions. My Mom was the one to start this tradition for our family, hosting it at my parent’s house each year. She would put on a huge spread of food and the rest of us would bring desserts or appetizers. Mom loved to buy gifts for everyone, starting months in advance. She would have a budget and took great delight in finding the perfect gift for the lowest price. In fact, she passed away in May of 2007, the day before she died she was shopping for Christmas gifts, to the delight of those who received gifts that year. All of us adult “kids” would exchange names and buy gifts for our person. With the economy turn we have switched to doing a “white elephant” gift exchange. The kids in years past would be overindulged with gifts from everyone, now they get one or 2 gifts. My Dad no longer spends Christmas in Minnesota so it is up to my generation to keep the tradition going.
Even since a few years before my Mom passed away, our family started meeting at my house. It stresses me out to have the whole big fancy meal so we started doing just the desserts and appetizers. This year we had all Chinese food and it was fantastic. It seems like we are finally making something of our own for our family get together. It has taken a few years to let go of the expectations we had, because of how my Mom had made Christmas so special for all of us. We laughed and ate way too much, enjoying each other’s company.
Today is Christmas Eve and I actually have no stress, it’s lovely. I spent some time wrapping presents and being leisurely. Our church met for a beautiful Christmas Eve service in the afternoon. Upon returning home we all raided the leftover food from last night’s party, put on our jammies and watched “The Nativity Story”. The kids will bug us until we relent to letting them open one present tonight. We’ll wake early tomorrow morning and wait while Drew makes our latte’s . We’ll take our time opening gifts one by one. Sometime during the gift opening, I will put some cinnamon rolls in the oven and we’ll take a break to eat a healthy breakfast including that and some Captain Crunch cereal. With nowhere to go, we’ll see how long we can make it staying in our pjs. Silly little things but these are the traditions that we love.