Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Once I publish this post, I'll have a workday to get through (though, it includes a Polar Express party, so it won't exactly be torture), followed by a 6-7 hour car ride, and then I will be officially on Christmas break!

I know we're all sick of seeing Facebook posts, tweets, blogs, etc about the unseasonably warm weather, but I just can't get over running in this outfit, before sunrise, the day before Christmas Eve.

I was thrilled to get a text last night saying Lily would be at my house at 5am to join me for a run. We chatted through an easy 9 miler, average pace 9:40.

Tomorrow, it will be time for the Christmas traditions to commence. My mom, sister, and I refer to ourselves as Christmas Nazis (extremely ironic, since my sister and I are both half Jewish), and we allow no one to deviate from the traditions in even the tiniest way. Some are longstanding, since childhood, and some have developed recently, since we've added a few members to our family.

This Christmas gang, taken by Eric

1. Christmas Eve dinner will consist exclusively of appetizers. This isn't exactly revolutionary, but it is delicious. Shrimp cocktails, various dips, crackers and cheese, veggie get the idea. 

2.The most wonderful grocery store ever, Wegmans, closes for the only day all year (Christmas) at 6pm, so it's important that a vital ingredient must be forgotten, leading to a frantic mad dash to Wegmans at around 5:43 pm. 

3. Everyone must have pajamas to open on Christmas Eve. The tag must read "From: Open me first" on the pajamas, and everyone must open them in turn, then retreat to separate rooms to put the pajamas on, and return immediately to resume more traditions.

4. Everyone must choose another gift to open on Christmas Eve. It's important to give this gift the same deliberation that an inmate on death row gives to his or her final meal. If you don't care (Vince and Eric), pretend.

My sister and I agonizing over our Christmas Eve choices

Unofficial tradition - matching gifts

My sister and the other black man in my life

 5. Drinking must occur. This is a new addition, since Vince joined our family, that, personally, I believe is quite an improvement.

6. First order of business on Christmas morning - get hot coffee in everyone's hands. Actually, that's a tradition every morning.

7. Stockings must be opened first.

8. Gifts must be opened one at a time, and all eyes must be on the opener (sorry, a little teacher talk snuck in there, but I promise to give it up the second the final bell rings tomorrow).
Pictures can also be taken of the opener
9. Showers are optional, but pajamas must be worn all day. It's important to be prepared for any post gift opening naps.
He was exhausted from eating an entire forest of Reese's trees
So, there you have my family's Christmas traditions, in a nutshell. What's your favorite Christmas tradition?


  1. Wow, you're strict about Christmas. I'm like "Oh, should we do presents on Christmas eve or christmas morning? Oh, let's do it at night so we can sleep in". We will have Faith open her gifts on Christmas morning because she goes to bed so early. :)

  2. I actually also get called the Christmas Nazi a lot (people love calling Jews Nazis apparently). I love your list of rules! We do not get PJs, but we do get to choose a gift to open Christmas Eve and there is always a ton of drinking (this year is going to suck). And yes, the stockings must always be opened first. It's just wrong to do it any other way.

  3. I love your expressions in some of these photos. They always make me laugh. Have fun with your family. It sounds like it will be a blast. Safe travels.

    My favorite tradition on Christmas is lox and bagels on Christmas Eve. Christmas has been different and weird the past few years with people going in 100 different directions, but that remains constant.

  4. we do apps on christmas eve too. and somehow i end up more stuffed than i am on t-giving! matt and i eat french toast on christmas morning, just the 2 of us (for now!). it's so peaceful and we play christmas music (sounds so cheesy, right?).

    enjoy your christmas traditions!!!!

  5. I'm equally as regimented about my Christmas! My pet peeve is those families where everyone goes crazy and opens everything at once - and then it's over in like 5 minutes! We open one at a time, around the circle by age, and take a photo of EACH PRESENT. Takes hours!

  6. I love your traditions and pictures! I want to come wear my pjs all day! Have a great Christmas!

  7. Ha! Christmas with your family sounds and looks like a lot of fun. We don't really have any traditions because I'm not religious, and I'm not raising Ramsey to believe in Santa Claus. We baked a ton of cookies together and handed them out as gifts, so I'm hoping to make that a tradition. Happy holidays, Alyssa!

  8. I love this! My sister and I get strict with present opening because Michael and Allan tear into their gifts paying no attention to anyone else. I'm loving the PJ's tradition you have!

  9. I am absolutely marveled by this. This makes my family look like a bunch of drunken pirates on Christmas. Also, bravo to Vince for bringing in the true meaning of Christmas!!!

  10. Awesome Christmas traditions! When I was a kid, we'd spend Christmas Eve opening Dad's side of the family's gifts and trying to figure out which one was the PJs. My mom thought we should get fancy for Christmas day though so we never wore pjs all day. Wish we did! My sister does that! Have a great Christmas!

  11. We used to have family traditions when we went to Michigan for christmas every year. Unfortunately, now that we stay home it's a big bag of "what the heck are we doing this year??" I hate it.

    Merry Christmas!

  12. Great inspiration for Christmas :) I like the atmosphere of your pictures. I was recently trying to find couple of original traditions to make our Christmas a bit extraordinary. I got amused by the strangest Christmas customs around the world. If you are curious which European nation fancies a pooping man, then check it out :)

  13. We do the one present at a time too. Christmas Eve went wonderfully but Christmas morning got a little out of control. Kids do that. I need a little more school teacher to keep them in line!


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