Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Christmas Traditions

I am linking up with Andrea today for Show & Tell Tuesday to share some Christmas Traditions!
I must warn you there is a bit of picture overload... I was having so much fun looking through photos of the last few Christmases!
Christmas Eve we usually celebrate with afternoon Mass and dinner at our house. Ella and I always wear our matching aprons that we got when she was little... Holiday Hostess & Hostess in Training.
We try to get a good family pic in our holiday best....
And Paul gets a gift in a Victoria's Secret Box from my mom!!
Story behind that...the  first Christmas we were dating, my mom gave Paul his gift in the VS box as a joke. I think it was a t-shirt or a gift certificate for car washes inside, but the look on Paul's face when he unwrapped a Victoria's Secret box from my mom was priceless! She asked for the box back and has put one of his presents in there every year for the last 18 years!
We finish out Christmas Eve sprinkling some reindeer food on the front porch.....
....then read The Night Before Christmas, lay out some cookies & carrots and get tucked into bed!
Our Christmas morning goes a little like this.....
I am always the first one up...I mean I truly think I am more excited than the kids. I get up and put on some Christmas blend coffee...plug in all the lights...light a Christmas candle... I just want all the smells and feels of Christmas. And then I sit and wait....I give Paul a little extra time,but then I get him up too! Our family room is an open, two story layout, so the kids can look out their rooms and see presents from upstairs. I beg Paul to get that picture or video of the kids expression each year. I can't tell you how much video we have of me running up and down the hallway trying to get the kids up!'s quite a scene.
Ella is the first one up. She is so excited and we try to wake Luke up. That is literally the hardest thing!!  I mean what kid is not jumping out of bed on Christmas morning? Luke... that boy LOVES sleep. He says the presents will still be there and he needs more rest!
Once we get everybody up...the unwrapping begins! The kids go to town on presents from Santa. I take candid pics along the way...most are fuzzy because everyone is jumping with excitement!
They take a break mid way through to give each other the special gift they picked out to give. This is their favorite part!
I just love how he is holding her arm to show her his gift!
Paul and I exchange a couple gifts and then give a few to the kids. We usually give them stuff they need... clothes, PJs, socks and one fun toy.
The kids look through their stockings last...which usually leads to eating candy at 8am!
We give Maddie a few new toys. Last year was her first Christmas with us... we gave her a stuffed gingerbread, which she destroyed in 2.5 seconds. We are staying away from any plush gifts this year!
I always make my mom's Sausage and Egg Casserole the night before, so I just have to bake it Christmas morning. We eat that, along with something sweet (cinnamon rolls/pastries), fresh fruit, and the kids make fresh squeezed OJ every year.
We celebrate with my parents on Christmas Eve ...... so Christmas Day is PJs and playing all day! I love being able to stay home and play! Some of my favorites from Christmas Day playing!

My brother and his family come to visit on the 26th to celebrate...
Paul's parents live in Florida, so we don't see them on Christmas...but we go visit for Winter Break and celebrate Christmas a little more!

We are lucky to celebrate Christmas on a few different days each year! I would love to read about your Christmas traditions... drop them in the comments below!
We will see you tomorrow for What's Up Wednesday... sharing a little bit of our life lately! Hope to see you then....there's always room for one more at our family table.

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