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'Tis (Almost) The Season

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I generally have a rule that strictly forbids any mention of Christmas before the ghosts and goblins have knocked on my door demanding candy, but I kinda want to make an exception. Just this once. I want to make that exception because I have to admit, I'm really looking forward to Christmas morning at our house this year.

I'm not talking about the actual Christmas morning, but rather the morning that our little family will celebrate our itty bitty Christmas at home. It will be before we head out to visit the hoards and hoards of family. It's something that we do that is just for us.

I'm looking forward to it this year because I feel like this will be the first Real Christmas Morning. Sure, we've done our exchange within our little 3-person family before, but this will be the first time in the Big House with the Big Tree and with TIME TO PLAN. Last year we had moved just a few months prior, so the house didn't feel like home just yet.

Now it does.

This year our little Christmas will likely start with a big breakfast lit by the soft twinkly lights of the Christmas tree. We'll all still be in our pajamas, a Christmas movie will be on the TV, and Alexis will be in a big hurry to finish her pancakes and eggs so she can start opening some gifts. In my perfect fantasy, the Bulldog will be wearing a Santa hat (I so love to torture her) and the kitten will be nuzzled in my lap as we sit back and watch Alexis ooh and aah over her new things.

I know. It sounds a bit boring. That's why I love it.

What about you? Do you have a special holiday tradition that you're looking forward to? Tell me and you could win a $100 Visa Gift Card, courtesy of the Mom's Breakfast Club. To enter, leave a comment telling me about that holiday tradition. For a second entry, you can tweet about this post with a link to it (and put your tweet URL in a separate comment below) or blog about this post with a link to it (and put your blog post URL in a separate comment below). Official rules for the giveaway can be found over here, and you can find additional opportunities to win over there. Sweepstakes ends 5pm EST on November 8th, 2010.

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  • Response
    Response: Holiday Traditions
    Anyway, she also asked readers to talk about their own holiday traditions. As Jews, obviously, we don't do the whole "Christmas morning" shindig. We USED to but that's a long time ago and we've created new traditions now.

Reader Comments (123)

I look forward to baking Christmas Cookies. I have recipes that I only bring out once a year at that time and it always helps me feel like Christmas is around the corner.

I look forward to our Christmas morning routine. We get up with the kids, go downstairs and open our stockings from Santa. Then we have breakfast - I, too, usually makes pancakes - and then we get down to the business of opening gifts from under the tree. Once that's over with it's time to get dressed because Grandma and Granddad will soon be over. When they arrive, it's round two of presents, and then I make a Christmas feast for everyone.

This year, it's possible that my parents will be able to join us - the first year they've been able to be with us on Christmas itself since we had children. I hope they can make it and get to share in our traditions.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermattieflap

Every year, instead of Christmas gifts, my parents pick a place and my whole family meets there for a few days after Christmas. Because we all live in different states (NJ, NY, PA) we choose somewhere that is a few hours for everyone to drive. We shop, do local sightseeing and have a little family Holiday party. It's great because we can all just hang out, the kids enjoy seeing each other and we look forward to it every year!

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

I've already started one of my favorite traditions. The baking of Christmas Cookies and treats. I love to decorate, to bake, to get everything ready. Starting right after Thanksgiving usually. Problem with that is that every year I get totally overwhelmed at the first of December. So I've already started. I love sending in large plates to my husbands work, teeming w/ cookies and treats. I have standards (sugar/cutouts) and every year I try to change it up.

Then for Christmas day itself we always go to my parents. All six of the grandkids (if my ex-SIL is nice enough to allow us my bro's oldest), or 5 of the parents, my bro and his wife. The best Christmas dinner ever. Good family, good conversation. Always nostalgic, but always fun.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

You make her WAIT until after breakfast to open gifts!

I've been enjoying going to midnight mass with my husband on Xmas eve while someone else stays at home to watch the boys. I love singing Silent Night by candle light. It's beautiful, just for me and my husband, and then we go home and play Santa.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScully

Every year we all meet at my moms for food and a few gifts, nothing huge. BUT its nice to be with family during the holidays oh and FOOD did I mention all the FOOD?

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertheginger

Every Christmas morning at my parents house Mom gets up and makes monkey bread. Since we all still live at home we wait until it's done and out of the oven before we head downstairs. Everyone eats and then we open gifts. This has gone on as long as I can remember; some years doing the same thing at my grandparents house in Pittsburgh instead.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMandra

I'm looking forward to simply seeing all of my siblings at one time. We are a big funny family that likes to laugh a lot. Plus we will probably bake some goodies together and just enjoy each others company. I also cannot wait for the Homemade food. :)

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRuth

Now that I'm older and my mother and I are separated by states and I have an extended in-law family that is both local and big on tradition, I tend to have a different sort of Christmas tradition. It is this:
My mother, her boyfriend, my husband and I all get dressed up and go somewhere really nice for New Year's Eve dinner, then we go back to her hotel and exchange gifts (still all dressed up), and of course drink lots of champagne. If my husband and I don't have plans, we stay and watch the Vienna New Year's concert and clap along to Strauss.
I love it. I hope we can continue to do it every year. Who cares if we don't do Christmas on Dec. 25th? The important thing is the time together. And the champagne. :-)

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

I look forward to going home to my parents house for Christmas morning. Since I am the baby in the family they still give me presents and they're always very practical things that my mom knows I need but never buy for myself. Its great! Eventually the big group will get together but not necessarily on Christmas day, so its nice to have something on the real holiday.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

I'm not 100% sure you can still get links to direct tweets with the new twitter but here's my second entry because you can see it on my page!!/akuipers

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

The weekend following Thanksgiving we decorate our house. Decorating the tree has always been the highlight of the weekend. Everyone in the family gets an ornament representing the year. Then we light the first fire of the year, put Christmas Vacation on the TV and begin arguing about tinsel vs ribbon or colored lights vs white. To finish off the festivities we have appetizers for dinner.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

My Dad was in the ICU last Christmas so it wasn't a holiday of joy & happiness. Instead, we were tired, scared, worried & in the hospital. However, he made it through his scarey moments & I'm really looking forward to having everyone home, opening gifts under the Christmas tree. Instead of waiting until Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and opening them in the hospital room at Mercy. Everything will be a special blessing this year.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon

my favorite christmas tradition is brunch at my uncle and aunt's house. everyone is all happy, eating phenomenal food and sharing stories when one person hands another a small gift and then BLAM!, the house explodes in a sea of wrapping paper and gift bags as close to 50 people open gift after gift.

it is no secret that every year i'm the one who either gives or received that first gift...i'm not very good at waiting around to follow others.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

My favorite (and relatively new) tradition is going to Pennsylvania Macaroni on Christmas Eve to get our bag o' Christmas cheese (that means jalepeno muenster and fresh mozerella). It's packed, and the cheese line is like 150 people deep. But I love it.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBeckyd

I started this with my kids and now it's grown into a whole family (30+) affair. We all have the same pajamas for Christmas eve and into Christmas day. With my kids it was just the three of us and has now ballooned into a craziness that has me starting to look for matching jammies in March. But the pictures...oh the pictures, and memories too.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpam

We make cinnamon buns on Christmas morning.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMami2jcn

I am looking forward to having Christmas morning. My youngest is only 2, and understands the whole Santa Claus thing this year. Santa always leaves the kids a present in their bedroom to surprise them when they get up.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteraimee silvio

I love Christmas. My mom always had a big Christmas party. I missed that when I moved away, so I've been throwing my own Christmas party every year since 1993. I usually start baking (or at least freezing dough) in November. I decorate. I fill the house with decorations, homemade appetizers, and homebaked cookies. I even make glogg (a hot Scandanavian mulled wine).

This year, however, may be different. If all goes well we will be closing on a house in mid-December. There will be packing. There will be painting. There will be me in my third trimester. So, I'm not sure how this Christmas will look, but I will put up at least a small tree and bake some cookies. It wouldn't be Christmas if I didn't.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim Z

We do Christmas Eve at my mom's and Christmas day is bouncing between my dad's and my hubby's family. But Christmas morning is all ours and it's so nice. This year the Baby will really 'get it' and I can't wait!!
In our house there is a 15 minute whirl wind of paper flying and then I make pancakes and bacon and scrambled eggs while the kids are playing with the new stuff....poor Alexis has to wait until after she eats!?!?

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbeach mama

We open presents from each other on Christmas eve and presents from Santa on Christmas!!It's wonderful!

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermeeyeehere

Banana pancakes for breakfast! Mmmmmm. <3

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHaven


October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHaven

My mom makes Christmas tea rings each year (kind of like a cinnamon roll thingy). As much as I love eating them, I always loved to help make them. So that it bakes into slices, you use scissors to cut the roll before you bake it - I don't know why, but using scissors to cut dough still amuses me to no end.

I also used to love going to dad's boss's house (which also happened to be DJ Petey C's house) on Christmas Day night for a big party - there was always such delicious food and we'd take the "scenic route" to look at Christmas lights on the way.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

One of my favorite memories of Christmas was getting to open one present on Christmas Eve. It was always a new pair of pajamas that Mom had washed before wrapping. Even though I always knew what the present was going to be, I loved being allowed to open it and I loved wearing new pajamas to bed that night. Just a goofy little memory that always makes me smile.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMirth

I love having Christmas eve dinner at my parents, and going to their candle lit service. We let Dylan open one small gift that night.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

We make the kids wait until we're awake before they open gifts. They are not allowed to wake us or make noise trying. We "sleep in" until 7:30 or so just to get their goats, and enjoy family time for the next hour or so before we're bombarded by family and meal prep.

I love the quiet family time. It's what Christmas is all about.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaren

I miss Christmas Eve dinner at my mom's, which was a tradition until she moved out of state. When she moved back, the dinner did not return with her. However, I have carried on the tradition of Santa's not wrapping gifts. We never questioned it as kids and so far neither has my kid.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterfacie

I love making the treats. Christmas is really here when I get to bake many varieties of cookies, make cakepops, bake bread, and cupcakes.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertammigirl

We always watch the thanksgiving parade and football while eating turkey and have to have the pecan pie
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTabathia B

tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTabathia B

I am so torn...I dream about doing Christmas in our own home (don't think it will feel like home yet this year) and starting our own traditions BUT I love being up north and surrounded by family. I would hate to miss that just for the joy of waking up in our own beds on Christmas morning.

My favorite traditions are spaghetti on Christmas Eve and reading Twas the Night Before Christmas before bed. I also love to watch everyone take turns opening gifts but my inlaws do a free for all.

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Smiles

We have plenty of traditions, but I just need to talk about this, because this post just made me realize: my brother has been in Korea the past two Christmases, and this year, he will be home on Christmas morning. Not on the phone on speakerphone, but actually home opening presents with us. And his wife will be sharing her very first Christmas with us, too.

And I can't wait.

(but if you want a Christmas tradition, here it is. My mom loves Nativities. She always had a couple growing up, and about 10 years ago, I started buying her a new one (or two, depending on what I could find) every year. It's my job to set them up and arrange the people/animals. <3)

October 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercaroline

My husband and I started our own tradition when we moved in together. We grab a bottle of wine and Love Actually on Christmas Eve and watch it together while we open our gifts so the focus is on the kiddos in the morning. We never get anything extravagant, just stocking stuffers usually, but it's something that's just for us.

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermamaphan

Yeah,we look forward to sitting around pigging out on candy at Christmas

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercris richman

My actual Christmas day traditions change year-to-year; my parents are divorced, so one year my brother and I celebrate Christmas at mom's, and the next year at dad's (the other parent gets Christmas Eve, so it's like having Christmas two days in a row). Of course, each house has traditions- at mom's, we have cinnamon rolls while we open gifts, and go see a movie in the afternoon. At dad's, we have chocolate chip pancakes and include the dog in opening his own gifts (so he doesn't open ours). Dad has a lot more family in the area, so we usually pile in the car right away to go to a family celebration (usually bringing a new book for me and something distracting for my brother, for when the grown-ups all fall asleep after lunch). Now that my brother and I are growing up and having to travel farther to come home for Christmas, many of our traditions are more special- I'll be living out of state for Christmas 2011 so being home for the early prep stuff this year seems a LOT more important.

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

Spending the Thanksgiving dinner with my children.

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

We enjoy Christmas caroling to the elderly & seeing Christmas lights on Christmas eve...we drive around through the neighborhood.

~eunice b
tigergal01 @gmail .com

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commentereunice b


~eunice b
tigergal01 @gmail .com

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commentereunice b

We have a Easter Basket treasure hunt where we hide scavenger hunt clues on paper to lead our kiddos to their baskets! It's a tradition and they LOVE it!

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather S


October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather S

I look forward to travelling to see my family! We have our own family Christmas first though- my husband, daughter, & I. Christmas morning we make Berries & Cream French Toast!

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKaty P

I'm looking forward to a very similar Xmas morning. Our first daughter will only be around 3 months old but it will be our first Xmas at home without the hoards of family or traveling anywhere. I can't wait to be cozy in our pjsand watch Xmas movies!

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterXandra

We have a special Christmas morning strata . On Christmas eve we draw to see who gets to choose what kind.
WE also pull out pics from previous Holidays every year and talk about how we've changed and other sappy stuff. I love it!
tattgiff at centurytel dot net

October 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterambergi

As for Breakfast traditions, after gift opening on Christmas morning, we make heart shaped waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, baked omelets, sweet rolls, and breakfast meats. then we dive into the homemade holiday treat trays! the kids love to help with the waffles! We always spend our WHOLE Christmas day watching movies, putting together new gifts, and grazing for food! We decided MANY years ago that we would NEVER travel with little kids, and luckily our extended family Christmas celebrations are all either before the actual day or after. We do invite ANY one who wants to come, but this time is our sacred family time!

thanks so much!

ejrichter60 at gmail dot com

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

tweeted this!

ejrichter60 at gmail dot com

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEileen

Christmas morning is our favorite breakfast ritual. Warm breakfast casserole and fresh french toast with hot syrup! After we open presents and discover stockings...of course! Great family time for us!

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKristi Miller

Gifts are always a nice tradition I look forward to. I always love seeing recipients open their's, especially the ones I got them. Even this year, with money being a huge barrier, I've managed to put aside some nice little gifts over the course of the year. It won't be much, but I think it'll be enough to bring out a few smiles.
chainmail(at) iwon(dot) com

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSunshyn V

I tweeted

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSunshyn V

i love putting up the christmas tree and stringing popcorn on it
nannypanpan at

October 28, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternan lara

On Christmas Eve we have an "immediate" family dinner (usually pot roast) and then we all load into the car and drive around to look at all of the house Christmas lights and talk about our year.
hmhenderson AT yahoo DOT com

October 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Henderson

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