I’m going to take any and all opportunity to talk about Christmas on the blog. I know the last one was about Christmas too, but come on, who doesn’t love this time of year?! People seem so happy and gracious and I mean, you can’t tell me it doesn’t make you smile seeing all of the Christmas lights on your way home from work? It’s the only time of the year that the sun going down so early is a positive!
There are some Christmas traditions that my family does that I wanted to share with you all. I’m looking forward to hopefully one day creating my own traditions with my own family but you never know if that will happen.
Outback dinner with the Bourscheid’s
We have a family, the Bourscheid’s, that have been family friends since before I was born. My dad and Mark’s birthdays both fall in December and our parents started going to Outback to celebrate. Since then, about 26 years ago, we plan a night to go to Outback to celebrate both their birthdays and Christmas. As the number of years that we’ve done this continues to rise, so does the number of cheese fries and bloomin’ onions we order 😉
Christmas Eve Dinner
Every year my mom cooks up the most delicious dinner before we go to church. It usually includes some sort of steak along with an array of sides usually including a potato dish and vegetable. We usually eat in our dining room which is not something we normally do and it’s always served on our Spode Christmas plates, my favorite! It’s not the food though that makes this dinner special, don’t get me wrong it’s amazing. What makes it special is that it’s one of the few times during the year that we all actually sit down, eat and talk, all 6 of us. It’s also during this dinner that the Agnos siblings do their “secret” Santa exchange. I put secret in quotes because it ends up not being much of a secret, but we still like to try and “fake” each other out. We also have a tendency to make everyone go around the table and say something nice about one another and it’s a good reminder that at the end of the day, you’ll always have your family.
As long as I can remember, my brother’s and I wake up Christmas morning, STILL at the crack of dawn, thank you boys, and then have to sit at the top of the stairs for God knows how long. Let’s just say 25 years later, and space is limited on those stairs…:) We then have to wait for my parents to out of bed and go downstairs and act like “Santa didn’t come.” I’m an angel child, so I always knew that wasn’t the case for me 😉 Then we wait even longer as my dad gets out the camcorder to take video of us sitting on the stairs. Finally, once our butts have become numb waiting, we one by one get called down the stairs. When we were younger, the first thing we would do is read Santa’s letter in response to the letter we left him. While I am mocking a lot of this now, I know it’s something we will be able to look back on through the videos and pictures and cherish.
I’m lucky in that my whole extended family is relatively close. As long as I can remember our Christmas routine is the same. We wake up and spend time at our house then, we drive to my grandparents’ house that are local and eat lunch and spend time with them and my aunt and uncle and then around late afternoon we make the trek to Richmond to my other grandparent’s house where my mom’s whole family is waiting for us. It’s always funny going from my dad’s family to my mom’s family because with my dad’s family it’s quiet and calm since we are the only grandchildren. My mom’s side, there’s 13 grandkids and a whole lot of chaos. But that’s what makes it fun. There’s two traditions we have with my mom’s family. The first is all the cousins do a secret Santa exchange to not make everyone go broke in buying everyone gifts, there’s too many. We start by doing that gift exchange. Then the “adults” (anyone 18 years or older) do a white elephant exchange. Typically, this exchange has a theme. Examples of previous themes are childhood memories, as seen on TV and Presidents. For the Presidents one we each drew a name of a President and had to correlate our gift to said President and in my grandfather’s case, write a whole book report! It usually ends up in tears caused by laughter. This year’s theme is movies but we are always looking for recommendations!
While a part of me dread’s Christmas day because it means that Christmas time is over, I also get excited because of the traditions above. I’d love to hear about some of your family’s traditions as well!