Monday, December 28, 2009

On Christmas Eve and Traditions Old and New

Ever since I was little, Christmas Eve has been one of my most favorite days of the year.

My parents and family always tried to make the entire Christmas experience special for my brother and I.
When we still lived in Great Falls we always had a set schedule of going to the Children's Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes then out to pizza with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and then we'd all pile into cars and go look at Christmas lights. Once that was over, depending on the time we'd either go over to someone's house and watch a movie (usually National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation) or we'd go our separate ways for the night.
Once the extended family events were done for the night and it was getting to the time that we needed to get ready for bed my parents, brother and I would sit around our Christmas tree and my brother and I would get to pick one present to open. This was such a special tradition and really set the mood for my brother and I.

Last Christmas, I got to share this tradition with Jeff as it was our first Christmas experience in Arizona with my parents.
This year, we spent Christmas with his family and I got to experience some new traditions.
Jeff's family usually goes to a later mass on Christmas Eve, but they were SO generous in accepting my request to attend the Children's Mass at Holy Spirit. There's just something about the Children's Mass that puts you in the Christmas spirit! After we headed home to a wonderful feast of crab legs and prime rib. This is the one tradition that stood out and was repeated over and over when I would ask Jeff about his favorite Christmas memories. The feast was scrumptious and we were all stuffed. Then it was bed time for Caderyn but not before he opened one present from Mimi and Papa Swan before he went to bed. I would like to keep this a tradition with our family to keep that special feeling of Christmas.
Jeff's family opens up their gifts on Christmas Eve and that's exactly what we did. I did keep the presents from my parents unopened until the next day, but it was a lot of fun to defy the usual rules that I've always grown up with and tear into the pretty presents just a couple hours earlier.
We sure got spoiled!

After that it was bed time and the Windmueller's like to sleep in a little on Christmas Day so that was also very nice. I used to be the person that got up at 5:00 a.m. to check and make sure Santa had come. :)

Caderyn got up at 6:00 a.m. but then went down for his nap at 8:30 a.m. and I went back down with him. We all slept in unti labout 11:00 a.m. (I was shocked! I haven't slept that much in over a year). Then Caderyn started to open his presents...but I will write more about that later!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
More blogs about our holiday experiences to come as soon as I'm around a regular computer!

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