Growing up all of our Christmas Eves were spent at home, with just our immediate family. Once in a while a grandparent or 4 would join us but for the most part it was just the 5 of us. We did extended-family celebrations before and after Christmas, sometime even heading to Toledo or Defiance on the afternoon of Christmas Day. But Christmas Eve was the calm in the storm.
As an adult I can really appreciate this tradition where at least one day of the holiday season can be spent as a family. When my older sister got married she established the same tradition for our generation – and thus one by one as we all got married we stopped going to my parents for Christmas Eve & Day. At first my mom was crushed, but over the last 11 years my parents have embraced their holiday vacation freedom by traveling – last year they took a cruise, this year they are in the Florida Keys.
And best of all, I have no horror stories about dragging us, the kid, the dog and all the swag from house to house while her schedule goes to pot and she gets more and more overstimulated and cranky. We did the extended family thing last weekend, therefore the last 2 days have been just the 3 of us relaxing.
Mark and I both worked until noon on Christmas Eve but that afternoon we took advantage of the fact that we still had some snow and went sledding.
That evening we had a relaxing dinner, drove around to check out Christmas lights and M opened gifts from her cousin & Uncle in FL my BFF from college.
Everyone got to bed at a good time. M was up a couple of times during the night and seemed to be up for the day at 6:30 but we managed to hold her off until about 7:15. She was awfully excited to see what Santa had brought. After checking to see if he ate the cookies and orange juice (her choice) she left out, she dug into her stocking where she found the DVD of Snow White, a Santa doll (the only thing she asked Santa for) and a Care Bear’s card game. Under the tree were more gifts including Candy Land, a trampoline, a tent/tunnel set and a tea set. Just enough to open without getting bored with the process, not so much that she forgets about half of what she received.
The rest of the day brought several rousing games of Candy Land, tea parties, a long nap in her new tent, 2 viewings of Snow White, lots of time with the Lego Duplo farm and lots and lots of jumping:
A trampoline is my new recommended gift for anyone in a cold climate with a preschooler – she loves it and jumps all day long.