House decorated. Check.
Cards sent. Check.
Cookies made. Check.
Tree decorated. Check.
Christmas Day dinner planned. Check.
Packages wrapped. Check.
Yep, it looks like we're pretty much ready for Christmas to arrive. We still have a couple gifts to deliver, but will hopefully get that done Christmas Eve. We've been to a couple Holiday gatherings already. A new "first" was a Winter Solstice/Eggnog party, but we opted for a wine tasting party instead. What fun!
I love traditions. Especially Christmas. We wake up extra early. The kids arrive. We have a nice breakfast. We leisurely open presents. We visit. Laugh. Talk. It's a good day. NOT!
Oh, we have a wonderful Christmas, but ours is an extended family and some year's it's like putting together a puzzle, trying to make all the pieces fit. But they do. Every year our "tradition" is a little different. When the kids were small and still living at home, it was easy. Our dinner was usually ham and scalloped potatoes. Bucky made Chinese food a couple years. But now my menu varies depending on what time of day the kids arrive. Bucky and Michelle also have her family to visit--her mom/dad and grandparents. Plus it's her brother's birthday Christmas Eve! Talk about a full schedule. Poor kids. Course, they somehow manage to fit it all in.
But some times it's hard to work around all these other commitments into a holiday that also works for us. I mean, really, who wants to wait until 4:00 in the afternoon to open presents! I'd rather be in my pajamas recuperating!
Because our holiday has become somewhat "un"traditional, I try to put a little twist on opening presents. Maybe I'll think of a theme and buy gifts that fit within that theme. For instance, if one of the kids was into gardening, their gifts would fall within that theme--gloves, yard art, picture of gardens or flowers.
One year the kids couldn't open up their gift until they guessed what was INSIDE, based on the wrapping. That was fun. Bucky got his right off. A DVD player. His outside wrapping consisted of an electronics gift card hanging as a tag. Tracy's present was a big box tied with laundry line. For the life of her, she could not guess what her present was. The morning was dragging on. We were getting giddy from laughter. Finally, we had to start giving her verbal clues. I mean, the poor girl just could not figure out what was inside her box. Bucky started guessing, trying to help his sister. We gave Tracy clues that had to do with laundry, washing, etc. Finally, Bucky yells out "IT'S A LONGENBERGER BASKET!" How he ever figured it out, and not Tracy, I'll just never know. But it was a fun game.
This year I'm not putting any name tags on the gifts. The kids will decide who gets to open the present.... based on the outside wrapping. On each present is a separate little gift, acting as the clue as to who the present might be for. This clue is based on a gift list I either got from one of the kids or based on a recent conversation, or a hobby of theirs.... Sound hard? I don't think so. Okay, so to give you an idea.... Let's say the present is for Mike and I know he loves baseball cards, so I attach baseball cards to the ribbon and bow. Course he would know it was for him. But not all gifts are going to be so easy to read and could go to a couple people. It should be fun....
We've noticed a new tradition happening this year.... Toys appearing as Christmas decorations on the tree. Where's Waldo? Merry Christmas!