Wednesday, November 24, 2010

12 Days of Christmas - Day 1

Christmas/Holiday Traditions

This year will be a little different now that my sister and I are both married. I'm not entirely sure how all of it's going to work out yet.

Christmas Eve
In the past, we always went to my aunt's house (my mom's sister) on Christmas Eve. We would go mid-afternoon and stay until about 9 p.m. My mom is the youngest of 8 kids (5 boys and 3 girls). All of them have at least two children of their own. I have a total of 23 cousins on that side. There are only 3 cousins younger than me. So out of the 25 grandchildren, 20 of them have children of their own. Some of my cousins are only a couple years younger than my mom, which means their children are older than I am! Yes, it's complicated I know. I really don't know if I know everyone's names. I used to get gifts when I was younger, but they say that once you get married you don't get gifts. There is always tons of food and everyone just comes and goes as they please.This year we are going to be getting together at my uncle's house instead since my aunt just had surgery.

Since I have been dating Matthew, I have also had to go to his aunt's house on Christmas Eve. They have their get together at the same time as my mom's family, but we just have to leave one early to go to the other. There is tons of food here as well. Everyone that's under 18 gets a gift from everyone, and everyone over 18 just gets a gift from the aunt who is hosting. But believe me, they are not gifts to get excited about. The first year Matthew got body wash and I got an itty bitty makeup bag that I know for a fact cost less than $2. Last year we got an address book and a letter opener. I know it's not about gifts, but I'd rather have the two bucks!

My sister always goes to her dad's house and has to leave my aunt's early, so this works out good since Matthew and I have to leave early as well. We can all go to the one together and then go our separate ways.

After we leave Matthew's aunt's house, we go back to my parents where some of my mom's second cousins (who we are quite close to) come over to sit around and laugh. We just tell crazy stories and jokes, and they all open a couple of bottles of wine. It's always a lot of fun!

Christmas Day
When I lived at home, I would wake up super early on Christmas morning to open my gifts! I usually love to sleep in, but I seriously get so excited about Christmas morning! After I would bribe my sister to get out of bed, we would wake up our parents and go downstairs. We open gifts one at a time, and I have to go last! I just have to! It's way more fun to let the anticipation build! I don't care if there are 100 people opening gifts, I want to be last! After we finish that, my mom usually cooks some cinnamon rolls and sausage. And of course we have all of the Christmas goodies like sausage balls, cheese crackers, pennies from heaven, etc.

After we all shower we go to my grandma's house (my dad's mom) to open gifts with his family. I only have two uncles and my grandma on that side of the family. So it's a lot less crazy than Christmas Eve! We again open gifts one at a time, and I go last. Sometimes we have a meal and sometimes we do sandwiches and snacky stuff. It usually depends on how Grandma feels that day. She is 87 after all. She gets what she wants!

Since Matthew and I have been together, we usually go over to his parents' house after we are done at my grandma's. They don't buy gifts really, but we give them their gifts. They gave us a nativity scene last year that we wanted, but that's all. It's a lot different than what my family does. And at some point we usually go see his grandparents (his dad's parents). They buy gifts, but his grandma usually just gives them to us as she buys them instead of wrapping them and waiting for Christmas. Definitely not as fun as opening gifts!

But this year will be a little different since we have to incorporate Shannon's new family as well. They have a small family and are very close, but I don't know how much they do for Christmas. I just hope that it all works out and there is a little bit of time left for Matthew and I have our own little Christmas with Cinnamon!

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