While I’ve been married for more than four years and it’s my second year with a child, this is the first year I really feel like I have my own family. Our daughter was barely six months old for Christmas last year, and it took until Lexi was about 9 or 10 months old before I started feeling like a family of three rather than just a couple who had a kid, if that makes sense. Not to mention the fact that we’ll be a family of four any day now. Especially now that Lexi can communicate and establish relationships with us (and definitely express opinions), I think it’s important for us to establish our own traditions while holding on to the ones we still have with our families.
Growing up, Christmas Eve was about dressing up, going to the 4:00 service at our church, then spending time with my dad’s family. Whoever was hosting our gathering would make oyster stew (I believe it’s a tradition passed down from when my dad and his brothers were kids) and Papa Murphy’s pizza (because no one but my dad and his brothers actually likes the stew). We’ve gone from getting everyone small gifts, to drawing names for who to buy for, to (for the first time this year) a white elephant exchange of games and movies. We’ve also gone from three brothers and their seven daughters to include five spouses/long-term partners and six next-gen children. 🙂
I love how this tradition has evolved with the years. I’m just also hoping we have time for our new nuclear family to create traditions. I already bought the kids new PJs to open on Christmas Eve and I think my husband and I will get some, too. But I don’t know when we’ll get time to open them or complete any other traditions, since from about 3:30 until well after Lexi’s bedtime we will already have plans.
Any suggestions for daytime Christmas Eve traditions? I’d like to stay away from ones associated with Santa Claus, but I’m pro-anything else, especially baking. 🙂