Christmas morning after everyone is up we line up all those here for Christmas from shortest to tallest. Haleigh now has been at both ends of the line and she has made it known in recent years that the front of the line is better than the back!
Each of our stockings are laid out stuffed with fun and yummy things and we spend time opening our stockings at the same time and enjoying them and then seeing what everyone else received. Over the years stuffing a stocking has become a fun specialty. In some ways more fun because of the limited space in the stocking. This year we pulled a trick on Jeremy which I forewarned him we would have a little fun at his expense Christmas morning. While everyone had a large stocking overflowing with gifts and goodies he had a 2X4 stocking with two little less fun things in it. Chap stick and hand sanitizer! He was a good sport and we quickly brought out his real stocking but that started things off with a tease setting a fun tone to the proceedings.
I always enjoy watching everyone open up their stocking and seeing how much they are enjoying them and have to catch up with my own opening at the end.
Then we move to the presents under the tree. Now our girls are grown but when they were younger we made it a point to attribute stocking presents to Santa Claus and those under the tree came from whoever the giver might be. It seemed reasonable that the kids should know who the presents were from so they could feel and hopefully express appreciation directly to those grandparents, aunts and uncles and so forth.
We developed a way that suited us better to open the presents under the tree by starting with the youngest and giving them an opportunity to give one present to a person and then we all enjoy watching them open the present and enjoy discussing things, teasing, joking and having more fun while watching their reactions to the gift. This resulted from our desire to increase the emphases to giving and decreasing emphasis from getting. It had been great with the side-effect of taking longer to open presents.
We take a break at some point and go and eat breakfast. Lisa has usually put together a tasty breakfast casserole together which we enjoy and then return to presents. Eventually we are done and nowadays as the girls have grown it is filled with memories from the past and lots of bonding as a family.
Later in the day we typically go to a movie on Christmas. This year we went to the latest Narnia movie: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Then we have dinner at some point that doesn't take a lot of preparation so that we can still enjoy the peacefulness of the day. In the past Lisa found herself stressed as she prepared a large Thanksgiving type meal. We got away from that realizing it was decreasing her enjoyment of the day. This year Lisa had a spiral sliced ham warming in one crock pot with Grandma's potatoes warming in another one. Much easier and smoother and all nice and warm when we were ready to eat it.
For us Christmas is a real loving and family bonding time that we enjoy immensely. Feeling close together and being able to enjoy each other with remembering our foibles and good times from the past. Families are forever...starting now!
This year we had three daughters plus Jeremy and Gloria to share Christmas with us. We had lots of fun sharing our traditions with Jeremy and Gloria and I think they found several things different than their normal celebration of the day. It was a big day of celebration and appreciation and remembrance.