This is going to be short (maybe) and sweet because it is Christmas Eve and I LOOOOVVVE Christmas. I liked it when I was a kid but as a mother of children I love it that much more.
I am not one mired in traditions but I do like them - however, my husband who is not what one would call change agile loves traditions. For me the writing of cards, the picking of gifts (which takes me a while because I do like to find something unique for those very close to me) and the decorating of the house are my staples.
In our house though we also have a few Christmas Eve traditions that I have grown fond of and which I am told, with a smile and please, that I cannot deviate from. We usually are running around looking to finish last minute errands and food shopping for Christmas Day, which we always host. As the darkness falls, well maybe after the darkness falls since that is at like 430 PM or so around NY, we gather round and have some nice cheeses and crackers (my boys like Manchego, cheddar and Parmesan and we add 1 or 2 stinky cheeses for me and a fig jam on the side - already tasting it). Our meal is a sun-dried tomato cream sauce over fresh pasta with shrimp, garlic bread and a nice tricolor salad. Dessert is had an hour later as we snuggle on the couch (one boy on each side of me) to drink Williams-Sonoma (yeah, yeah I know but I am ok with my snobbism) hot chocolate and have some chocolate chip cookies (I cheat and use Pillsbury most years) and watch Polar Express. We leave some cookies for Santa with a note from each boy by the fireplace.
In the morning the sound of boys rushing down stairs and back up to "wake us up", us have been up for some time waiting for them so they can tell us how Santa came. The madness of the gift wrap flying and the sounds of excitement never fails to make me warm and cuddly all over. Each son helps me give out gifts from under the tree. Our guinea pig Bob usually has given presents to them as well as getting some treat himself (each pet from our beta fish to our last guinea pig Jessie has always been pretty generous). The boys love that the gifts are not only from us and their family as well as from Santa, Mrs. Santa, Rudolph, Frosty and host of other characters (and it is from different sources since each handwriting and pen color is different after all ..ehem yep).
Me I love their excitement but I also admit I love those presents for me - the value of them is not in the price but in what was chosen (though would be lying if I ever said that the sight of that Tiffany blue box with a red ribbon does not especially please).
We are fortunate and can give our children gifts and a home filled with love. I was going to be all PC, but who are we kidding it's not me, and say something profound about the need to not get gifts - let's be honest getting gifts is fun and my wish is that every child had something that made them smile when they opened it up on this day not that mine don't. We remind the boys that they are deserving of a gift because of their actions throughout the year, a kindness or an achievement.
Merry Christmas to you all and may your traditions bring you joy, may your gifts bring you laughter and may you share a moment where you tell the ones you love that they are the spirit of this holiday.