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#MicroblogMondays 174: Merry Christmas

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We don’t celebrate Christmas, so I live vicariously through all of your Internet postings.  I love hearing about Christmas traditions.

Like do you go away or host it?  Hang stockings for decoration or fill them?  Church or no church?  What are you eating today?

Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?  And during gift opening, do you go one person at a time so everyone can watch other people open presents or do you open gifts at the same time?  Are you ever surprised or do you pretty much know what’s under the tree?

So tell me about your Christmas (or grab a good idea for next year if one pops up in the comment section).


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1 Chandra Lynn { 12.25.17 at 12:44 pm }

I love, love, love Christmas. It’s great witnessing my little one’s over-excitement as we build up to THE gift he’s been wanting. We open gifts one at time and take pics of reactions. And gifts are a surprise for me and hubby, but we do get a list from the little one, so he has an idea of what he might be getting, but we tell him nothing’ s guaranteed. We use the rule for him–something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. He is such a grateful kid and he makes Christmas more than a pleasure. The only thing I’d appreciate is a little more sleep! LOL!

2 Isabelle { 12.25.17 at 1:36 pm }

We usually go away right after Christmas because it’s cheaper that way. This year we’ll go with the twins on their first road trip (at 3.5 months!). We go to christmas eve service in the evening and go to my brother’s house for chili. This year, we have the babies so we decorated a christmas tree and opened presents Christmas morning. We bought them ornaments to mark this special year. I opened all the presents while the babies sat on my husband’s lap. I am sure next year it’ll be different since they will know how to rip things open.

3 Lindz { 12.25.17 at 2:06 pm }

We do church on Christmas Eve. Stockings get filled (gradually as filling gets purchased because Santa has farmed that out to us). The girls get to open a present of their choice on Christmas Eve. We have a small Christmas tree in the older girl’s room and a small present for each girl gets put “under” that tree. It serves as a distraction when they wake up and gives the grownups time to use the bathroom and start coffee before moving on to other presents. Food is a big part of Christmas… Christmas Eve dinner is always lasagna because it can be made ahead and cooked day of. Christmas breakfast is always cinnamon rolls. Santa presents and stockings are the only things opened before breakfast. After breakfast, we open presents in rounds where everyone opens a present, the official recorder writes down what and from whom, and then everyone gets another present. Christmas dinner is the evening meal and takes most of the afternoon to prepare. The only exception is the desserts… this year we have seven: 2 pies (key lime and mince), a fruit cake (not a fruitcake, a cake with lots of fruit), a Linzer torte, 2 kinds of cookies, 2 kinds of candy. All of these were made ahead of time, mostly by us but not all. The pies were purchased and the Linzer torte was a gift.

4 Chris { 12.25.17 at 2:36 pm }

Well, it’s evolved. When I was a kid it was open one present on Christmas Eve, and do Santa when I was little and then stockings when I was older. (My mom and I always did them for each other and had a lot of fun filling them once I was too “old” for Santa.) But, she always liked opening everything on Christmas Eve and once we kicked my father’s mother out of our lives we went to that. I was 18. I’ve kept that up as I do Christmas- So we do presents on Chiristmas Eve. I also do a full turkey dinner on Christmas Eve so we’ll have leftovers because now on Christmas day we go to my best friend’s since it’s just us. We’ll have another turkey dinner there later today, and do gifts with BFF and my nieces and nephew. We don’t have a fireplace but I did hang stockings for decoration. And, church was something we did sometimes in my youth, it’s not something we do now. Oh, as for presents? Yes we open one at a time. I don’t usually have any idea what to expect from husband. My dad would actually like me to shop for myself , but I refuse so I send him a list of things I like and he gets me some- I have a very good idea from him what I’ll get.

5 Lori Lavender Luz { 12.25.17 at 4:48 pm }

Evolved, like Cristy says. As a kid, it involved church late Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning we kids would wake up early and were forbidden to come upstairs (we shared a basement bedroom) until Dad set up the camera, which took HOURS. Then we’d open one at a time. We usually knew one thing we’d get — the big thing we’d ask for.

Now, church is more optional. We celebrate once at our home (we make our kids wait endlessly on the stairs, lol) and again with extended family at my sister’s home. It’s not about the presents now at all. I just enjoy being with my loved ones.

Merry Christmas Mel, and the rest of my ALI friends.

6 Mali { 12.25.17 at 5:11 pm }

I enjoy Christmas usually – my tree is looking pretty lovely this year – but I also enjoy hiding from it periodically too. On Christmas morning, as my husband and I were busy getting things ready (yes, I host), he looked up and said to me, “a resort in Thailand where everything is done for us is starting to look really good right now.” So maybe we’ll manage to escape next year.

This year, for the first time, we hosted the Californian branch of the family (BIL and his Texan wife and my twin nieces), so that was really special. We included elderly in-laws, and an elderly No Kidding aunt and uncle, but sadly recognise that it might be the last time they can cope with our house (stairs at the entrance).

Presents aren’t a big deal, but I took pleasure this year in getting my nieces some New Zealand pounamu (or greenstone/jade) necklaces, as they turn 18 and graduate soon. Pounamu should only be a gift, and if you wear it and keep it, it means you’ll return to NZ.

I enjoy Christmas shopping usually, but this year there wasn’t much to do. We all opened gifts together as they were shared out, and showed each other what we had.

7 Middle Girl { 12.25.17 at 6:19 pm }

As my children and I get older, our celebrations continue to evolve. This year, like the first year after my mother’s death, I’m having some difficulty calling up unbridled joy. Have tried. Trying.

8 torthuil { 12.25.17 at 6:22 pm }

It varies! Sometimes we stay home and host or my father in law hosts. Not so much my mom anymore as she is a widow. Alternate years we fly to the states and spend Christmas with my mother in law. This was supposed to be a USA year, but my pregnancy nixed that idea (don’t want to risk a million dollar anchor baby lol). So my MIL / step FIL flew in for a few days and they are helping us host dinner for the whole family (they are literally doing all the cooking while I nap, go in laws lol). We are doing presents in shifts with various family branches. AJ is still the big star of the show, but with baby sister and cousin on the way things will evolve again next year! I’m so lucky to have sweet, easy going family and in laws. Merry Christmas and happy new year to you and all readers!

9 Working mom of 2 { 12.25.17 at 7:17 pm }

Completely secular for us—we tell the kids Xmas for us is about spending time together. Even tho we’re not Christians or religious it’s hard feeling left out, so we do a tree, presents, etc.

We opted not to lie about Santa. It was a little awkward when the pedi would say “I bet Santa’s coming to your house soon!” (Both kids have a bday close to Xmas so their annual checkups are as well)

We open presents the day of, cook a nice meal for dinner (similar to thanksgiving).

10 Jess { 12.25.17 at 8:45 pm }

We always do one small present on Christmas Eve, then presents one at a time over a ridiculously long period of time to enjoy and savor each one. We pick the order we want the other person to open them, and we write silly tags from different related things (like “love Krampus” or “love Our Sense of Adventure” or “love the pickle in the tree…”) So much fun. Breakfast before presents, always! Happy holidays to you!

11 suzannacatherine { 12.25.17 at 11:38 pm }

Our Christmas celebration(s) when I was a child we’re all over the map, literally. I grew up in a military family in the 40s, 50s and early 60s. Sometimes we were thousands of miles from “home” and other years we celebrated with both sets of grandparents in the city we all considered home in the Pacific Northwest.

As small children, when we were in the US, we always went to the paternal grandparents on Christmas Eve (it was an hour and a half drive away). Most of Daddy’s siblings (4 Brothers and 3 sisters) lived in Minnesota and just 2 sisters came for Christmas Day. The others were farmers and we hardly saw them ever.

Mama’s family was close by (except for uncle Bob who took his family to Australia in 1949 and didn’t return to the US until 1960 when I first met him.) So Christmases were always a surprise of who could come, who couldn’t and where in the world we happened to be in the world.
Mama was Methodist and Daddy was a Lutheran but we attended Methodist churches mostly and we were regular church goers. Sunday morning services for all. Sunday School for us children, and back at 5 pm for evening service and pot luck dinner. This was every week. And Christmas was an all out religious holiday with lots of programs at church. Children s plays, choir programs, concerts of sacred music.
It makes me tired to think about it now! We didn’t attend everything -but we were in the choir and the Sunday School plays.

In between, we managed to open presents, one large one from Santa and smaller gifts in our stockings. Our present opening was on Christmas morning – very early – about 6:30 or 7:00, whether we were on station or at home in th3 Pacific Northwest.

As an adult, my family is Lutheran and we’ve settled in the southeast coast of Georgia. No more roaming the world. My grandparents are gone and I miss them so much. But I do have lovely memories. My mom will be 90 in three months. She’s the last survivor of both her family and daddy’s parents and siblings, too. I have 18 first cousins and we are spread throughout the country. It’s nice to keep in touch.

I expect you now know more than you EVER wanted to know about my crazy family and our Christmas celebrations.

Oh, we did (do) have a crazy tradition we often put into effect. Being usually on the low end of the pay scale we would often say, “well, there’s too much month left at the end of the money – – this looks like a good year to celebrate Russian Christmas. Russian Christmas is the 7 of January and that extra payday can make all the difference! 🎄🎄🎄

Happy Christmas to all and a peaceful New Year!

Please excuse any typos I made. It’s late a;d my screen won’t let me kook back. Oh, well,

12 Lori Shandle-Fox { 12.26.17 at 8:39 am }

Loved reading about everyone’s traditions. We’re Jewish so of course we don’t celebrate Christmas. I have no real recollection of doing anything in particular on Christmas as a kid, except for maybe driving around just for the heck of it to see what’s open. I still like to do that. And before the actual day, I love to check out all of the lights. For the past two days, I sucked in every holiday movie I could find on TV. Loved it!

13 Cristy { 12.26.17 at 9:46 am }

Wow, many people put me to shame on the traditions.

Yesterday after waking up way too early and allowing the Beats to open their Santa gifts, we managed to convince them to hold off on the rest of presents until at least 9 am in exchange for a movie. Following breakfast and presents, we got them into snow gear and the whole family went outside to shovel. Afternoon was spent playing with new toys, phoning family to chat and preparing dinner.

14 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 12.26.17 at 10:56 am }

Oh that’s interesting – I would’ve guessed you’d be tired of hearing about Christmas. I celebrate it and it still seems like a bit much! Part of that, of course, is the focus on kids.

Phillip and I have taken a few different approaches to the holiday in recent years. A couple years ago, we hosted a Christmas Eve open house, so we could see everyone then and spend Christmas Day just the two of us, on our own schedule. We took our time with breakfast and gift opening, watched movies, and then went for an impromptu hike.

This year, we had extra family in town, so we kind of did the opposite and saw everyone Christmas Day.

So here’s how that went down.

Christmas Eve–
church (Phillip is in the choir). My parents and a friend joined us for the service and then our friend came over for dinner afterwards (ham).

Christmas Day–
Stop 1: say hello to uncle in assisted living and deliver a gift.

Stop 2: My parents’ house. Gifts one-at-a-time. My mom’s traditional pastry and peaches-and-sausage breakfast (at lunchtime).

Stop 3: Phillip’s brother’s house. A lot more people – gift opening chaos. Taco Bar.

Home: Phillip as finally have a chance to open each other’s gifts, including the ones in the stockings. Snacks.

So I’m curious what the day is like for you and your family. Is it a regular day? Do you have any not-celebrating-Christmas traditions (movies, Chinese food, etc.?)

15 Charlotte { 12.26.17 at 5:17 pm }

Our celebration starts Christmas Eve (although I do 99% of everything, so the day before Christmas Eve is all about cooking/baking and getting the house clean.) We have my husband’s family over for a Christmas Eve lunch. The menu varies every year but this year it was Burgers on the grill ( yes, even though it was Freezing I grilled) teamed shrimp, pasta salad, deviled eggs, a veggie tray, and chips. After everyone left we cleaned up and reset the house and got ready for church (4pm is the “kids” mass with the children’s choir) Dinner after mass every year is a lunch meat tray and a tray of pinwheels from the deli (we pick it up early that morning) along with special chips everyone picks their favorites (this is a treat, because we don’t keep this stuff in the house on the regular.)We also have our favorite special-occasion punch, which is the red mix from the freezer section and ginger ale. My mom usually goes to church and has dinner with us. After a Christmas movie and some books, we put milk and cookies out for Santa and sprinkle the lawn with “reindeer food” and the kids go to bed. This year, I wasn’t ahead of the game by any stretch of the imagination, so all the gifts still had to be wrapped. Usually I do it all, but as time was an issue I recruited my husband and it took us about 2 hours to get all the kids’ stuff wrapped and stockings stuffed (some candy, a small toy or two, and gift cards)
The kids write Santa letters (yes, all of them, they have to or they won’t get anything) so while they hope they will get what’s on their list, they don’t know. I usually know what I am getting from my husband/kids because he’s not a great gift giver, and I don’t have a huge list of “wants” anyway.
Christmas morning started at 7:30am which was later than usual and appreciated since it was after midnight before I got to bed. We did stockings first, so everyone had some candy first, which was fine and helped stave off the hunger. Opening presents starts orderly but quickly becomes a free-for-all almost. We try and make sure everyone is opening a present together and that no one is opening everything while others re waiting, but it’s hard. After that madness, my husband will play with everyone/put toys together, while I cook a big holiday breakfast of pancakes, breakfast potatoes, bacon and sausage, and eggs, complete with whipped cream for pancakes and grapefruit juice (things that are reserved for holidays/special days) this year it ended up being around 10:30 or so before we ate.
Then we jut get to hang out all days and play with our new stuff. I got to take a nap with the baby, which was nice because I killed myself the week leading up to this doing All The Things. My mom came over for dinner, which was Lasagna and marinated Flank steak on the grill (yup grilled again in the freezing cold) and green beans.
After dinner everyone just hangs out by the fire. Sometimes we watch a Christmas movie, sometimes it has become too much Christmas and everyone is sort of off schedule and out of sorts by that point.

16 loribeth { 12.30.17 at 2:27 pm }
17 Keerthi Vydyula { 12.31.17 at 3:39 am }

Thank you for hosting it. I am a bit late in linking up here but hope not too late 🙂

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