We all have them. Big, small, detailed or not. Growing up my parents and I had a few. Of course there was the tree decorating. Every Christmas Eve we would have snack foods for dinner and open one gift each. Christmas music or show was on in the background. Younger me would set out cookies and milk (and carrots for Rudolph) for Santa and then head to bed. Christmas morning breakfast was cookies and whatever candy I had in my stocking with abundance of batteries for whatever game/gadget needed them and some piece of jewelry. Dad would be cooking Christmas dinner and Mom would be playing Greensleeves on the old electric organ she had. I was just playing with my toys.
When I was younger and my dad's parents were alive, we would head to Delaware to spend Orthodox Christmas with them in January. They were Ukrainian Orthodox and my great uncle was a priest at the church we attended. We would go to mass and I would sit up in the balcony with my great grandmother and sing the holiday hymns. Of course it was in Russian and I had no clue what I was singing but it was wonderful. The smells of the incense and the organ playing. My great uncle giving the sermon in Russian was simply beautiful. There was another mass where he said it in English but we always went to this one. Afterward we would make the rounds visiting the aunts and uncles and cousins. To this day I can feel my Aunt Kate pinch my cheeks, I can feel the warmth of my Aunt Anna's house, hear my Uncle Nicky's laugh as he told some joke, and the arms of my godmother and Aunt Rose. It was a great time and memories I cherish.
Having a family of my own now, we have our own traditions. Girls and I make cut out sugar cookies and decorate them....looking forward to doing that very soon with them in fact. When they were younger they would set out cookies for Santa and reindeer food that glittered so they knew the way to the house. They would leave Santa a letter and get a reply in the morning. We kept the snack food dinner and opening one gift going from when I was young and added watching Annabelle's Wish while eating. Playing board games follows that.
Christmas morning, of course they eat cookies and candy but I also make breakfast. One year we went to Waffle House...nasty...won't do that again LOL. After all the gifts are open, we tend to just relax. As the girls got into their teens, we found they would migrate back to their rooms and I was not liking that. So, we have added going to a movie on Christmas day...it's quite fun and you'd be surprised as how many others are there too.
This year, I am not sure when Jennifer will be home for the Holidays. She has mentioned she would like to work on Christmas (big bucks for Holiday!) and a few other days. It would definitely be odd not to have her here on Christmas Eve and Morning but nothing says we can't do it again when she is here. It was very odd not having her with us in Wisconsin. All part of them growing up and being on their own I guess. I am glad she was with her boyfriend and his family and not alone though.
What are your traditions???? I anxious to hear some of them!