Holiday Traditions

So the countdown has officially started and if you’re anything like me you have a bunch left to do. Yes, I waited till the last possible minute this year. What is Christmas without a little last-minute chaos, right?

With all the added stress of everything I need to complete before Christmas, I can’t wait for Friday to get here. For me and my family, Christmas Eve is the big holiday. No, we don’t open presents. We do save that for Christmas morning, but as far back as I can remember Christmas Eve has been our big hoorah.

I’ll pack the twins up early and we’ll drive the 45 minutes to my parent’s house. I’ll spend some time with Mom in the kitchen, then get lunch at one of my old favorites. It will either be a hotdog from Circus Hall of Cream or a burger from Checkers. I know, totally not fancy, but it’s a huge part of my day. You see, the city I live in now DOES NOT have a good hotdog. I’ve spent 10 years trying to find one, only to be disappointed over and over again. My city also doesn’t have a Checkers. It’s a shame really. They have the best burgers. Which one I’ll pick will depend on what I’m wanting more that day.

We’ll spend the afternoon relaxing and my Dad will eventually come home from work. When he does, we all pack up in the van and spend an hour driving around looking at Christmas lights with Christmas music playing in the background. We always go to this one particular house. They have their lights setup to Christmas music, so they blink with the beat. The kids love it and I must say I do too.

Afterwards, we head back to the house where we start laying out a buffet style dinner. No, we don’t do turkey or anything like that (we do have Christmas dinner). This is a buffet of all the goodies I loved growing up, including my Mom’s cheese ball, which Christmas would not be Christmas without her cheese ball. It’s a simple feast including sausage biscuits, wienies, chicken croissants, cheese and meat, but this is my favorite meal of the year.

We’ll put something on the TV and watch it together and maybe play a game. Then the kids will go to bed, as will my Mom and Dad. My sister and I will stay up way longer than we should then go to bed ourselves.

Christmas morning in the Bishop household isn’t like it is in most homes. There isn’t a mad dash to the Christmas tree or a crazed ripping of gift wrapped presents. No, it is very orderly. We eat breakfast (a small one so we are hungry for dinner) then we get dressed. Yep, no PJ’s by the tree and then we sit in a circle and take turns opening gifts. It was like this when I was a child, and my kids have grown up with it like this. I’m used to it.

I’ll never forget the first Christmas at my ex-husband’s family’s house (ten years ago). Chaos can’t even describe what it was like. I almost had a panic attack, not used to the madness. Everyone was off in their own little corner, frantically tearing into gifts. The noise level was insane. At one point my brother-in-law called my husband’s name and THREW a gift across the room at him. Talk about a fish out of water. I remember sitting on the couch, just breathing, trying to absorb it all.

I’ll miss that this year, but I’m glad my kid’s will have both. They’ll have the quiet, orderly Christmas with me and then have the craziness of their daddy’s Christmas. It will be interesting to see when they become adults which method they will take on themselves. I see my daughter taking on mine, while my son, LOL, yeah the mad dash fits him.

I hope everyone has a Happy Holiday! Be Safe and Be Merry!


Angela Hood-Ross said...

As I read this I remembered the first time I spent Christmas at my husband's family's home five years ago. You and I have very similar traditions (with the exception we are reversed). My family was total chaos while his is very orderly. We also spend Christmas Eve riding around looking at Christmas lights. After I married my lovie, a new tradition came along...we go to Ohio every 2 years to visit his grandparents (I live in the deep South...Alabammy). I love every minute of it. Even though some of my own traditions as a child are no longer observed, I hold tight to those memories. Wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Carly Carson said...

Had to laugh at the hot dog/hamburger special meal. One year on Christmas Eve we decided to do a picnic in front of the fire, sitting on the floor on blankets. We aren't always home on Christmas Eve but if we are, the kids insist on it, which I never expected when we started it. But I can't imagine making the kids wait to open presents in the morning! Even though we take turns, we start as soon as the youngest wakes us all. Merry Christmas!

Nicole North said...

Wonderful post! I loved reading about your family traditions. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!