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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Family & Christmas Traditions

The first year that kiddo lived here, we were on the outs with mother in law, so we created our own Christmas.  It was the first time we hadn't been anywhere for Christmas. My parents have been gone for too long.  We hated not having grandparents for her, but such is life.

We did all the family gifts on Christmas Eve and a nice dinner on our china.  We promptly found out she doesn't like steak or that type thing, as far as beef goes.  That became the end of our prime rib on Christmas Eve tradition.

We made cookies and brownies and directly after dinner opened all our gifts.  We put kiddo to bed early and brought out the Santa stuff.  She woke up about 4 and well all gathered in the living room for Santa fun.  Right after opening the gifts, all 3 of us curled up in our bed and slept for awhile, with kiddo at the foot of the bed, hugging a couple of her favorite gifts.

We used to love to go feed the hungry for Christmas, but it's so crowded that since kiddo moved in, we haven't been able to. She has crowd anxiety bad. If that ever gets better, we'll so be there! 

Somewhere before the next Christmas, mother in law came to her senses and wanted to be in our lives again.  So, the following Christmas, after the Santa stuff, we headed to her house for lunch and join the dysfunctional family for the day.

The following Christmas, she'd cut us out again, so we didn't visit.

This Christmas, our kids 4th Christmas, she called on Christmas Eve and left a message that we were welcome to come up there for Christmas.  It seemed more a show than anything genuine attempt to start an apology, so we didn't go. We did send along the message that the reason we weren't coming was because it was not healthy for our daughter to see family shut us out, then open the door, shut us out again, that family should demonstrate unconditional love and until that was possible, we would be unable to attend. Hubs baby brother came in from Germany. We considered it just for him, but didn't want to be fake, so we invited him here for Christmas Eve and to go out the day after Christmas with us.

So, what are our Christmas traditions?

  • Nutcracker Ballet every year and we let her have a Nutcracker each year.  The last few years, we also let her bring a friend
  • Christmas Eve is the "nicer" dinner. By nicer, I mean sit down at the same time and eat off china.  It's no longer prime rib. One year it was lasaagna, salad and rolls. This year, my company provided a ham, so we made that. It was spiral honey glazed.  We made it into the little sandwiches on Hawaiian rolls, potato salad, baked beans, sausage balls, tons of desserts, macaroni and cheese and soda in crystal. 
  • Christmas Day, we have cinnamon rolls for breakfast and lunch for the grown ups is crossaint rolls filled with smoked salmon and cream cheese with chives and shallots.  The rest of the day is leftovers from Christmas Eve and relaxing.  The kiddo doesn't like salmon so she has them without the salmon inside
  • Had to wake kiddo up this year because we were too excited not to, she thought we were weird. We woke her up at 6. Last year, she woke us up at 3:30.
  • going totally overboard on presents, despite always saying we will "do better this year"
  • cooking cookies together on Christmas Eve
  • peanut butter sandwich and coke left out for Santa, he needs the protein
  • taking toys to the local Toy Drive
  • staying in our pj's all day Christmas
  • letting kiddo eat dessert in bed Christmas Eve right after opening gifts
  • elf on a shelf, but she leaves gifts and love  notes, she doesn't get into mischief.  We don't think she should set a bad example, nor do we think kiddo should feel pressure with the elf watching her, it's for fun only
  • going thru the rich section of town to look at the Christmas lights on the amazing homes
This year, we also went to a museum to check out the Christmas display and local history.  We also went to Mannheimm Steamroller for the second time.  We will not be adding that to the tradition. It was great the first time. This time, none of us were certain that it wasn't men standing on stage pretending to perform while a soundtrack played. It was off and not quite right.

We couldn't find our stockings this year, so Santa picked up an extra stocking and left it for kiddo and it was so stuffed that the stocking ripped. The day after Christmas, I found our stockings.

So, that was our Christmas in a nutshell and what stays and what doesn't.

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