Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Traditions, How do you celebrate Christmas Eve?

Although Christmas is a wonderful time of year for celebrations and family gatherings my family has a tradition that takes place just one day earlier. First thing in the morning we have a big family breakfast and all the kids help prepare a portion of the meal. Pancakes, bacon, eggs, are just a few of the delicious items we have to eat. The kids enjoy making our big breakfast and they look forward to it each year.

Next on our list is to clean up our mess and get started on the cookies. Each one of my four children pick a cookie they want to make for Santa. We make each kind and also bake assorted muffins and brownies. The goodies are packaged and separated into baskets and decorated. We also add a few pouches of cocoa and coffee.

Later in the afternoon we head to the mail and watch all the hustle and bustle of last minute shoppers. Take a walk around the park in town and enjoy the brisk fall/winter weather (Florida here). Towards the nights end we sprinkle oats and grain all over the lawn for the reindeer. We gather all the children into the truck with our goodie baskets and head out around base (military). We stop at each gate and give the security forces (police) a basket and wish them a safe and warm night. As we end our drive we take a look at all the beautiful holiday lights adorning the neighborhood. When we arrive home again, Daddy jumps on the computer and checks to see where NORAD has spotted the jolly red man. Kids write letters to Santa, add their cookies to the plate and fill a mug with warm cocoa. We kiss them good night and cuddle on the couch watching "Its a wonderful life"

How do you celebrate your Christmas Eve?


Jennifer said...

What an awesome tradition.

We really don't have any traditions except that the youngest must be in bed by a certain time or Santa won't be coming. Then when she gets to bed, I get to wrapping gifts. LOL Our tree is barren of gifts until Christmas Eve. We usually try to get up at a reasonable time have breakfast and then go and get my older children, come home open gifts and then it changes up from year to year after that.

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah and well Just Happy Holidays.

Also Amanda, thank you and your hubby for what y'all do for our country you are da bomb Chickie.

Sygnet Creations said...

From my dear friend Reesa of RetroReesa on etsy.

All my young growing-up life we spent Christmas Eve with my grandmother and granddaddy. It was my mom and dad and sister and me, also my cousin and his parents. We had such a wonderful time, playing games and eating goodies and opening presents. As I look back on it now it seems like they were picture-perfect Christmases, the kind they show in movies. I remember one particular Christmas Eve where we all played the newest game -- Twister! Kids and adults alike!

After my granddad died at the young age of 45, we still kept up the tradition of Christmas Eve with Nonnie (our name for our grandmother.) We did it even when we kids were having kids of our own. It only ended when Nonnie had to go to a nursing home after back surgery, and she spent the rest of her several years there. Everything just fell apart as our children got married and had to factor in their in-laws and their traditions. No more get-together with the cousin and aunt and uncle. Even my younger son has been married 1 1/2 years now. My nephews are 17 and busy with their own girlfriends and friends and jobs.

I know I sound sad, because I do miss those happy family times. They were some of the best days of my life! But what do we do now, me and my hubby, the 50-something empty-nesters? It is time for us to bend and grow, accept new ideas and circumstances. There are more people to love as our families grow, new joys to experience. These are not the same things we used to do, but who is to say that with open minds and hearts that these days might be looked back on as some of the happiest of our lives? ♥ I embrace change as long as there is love. ♥