Friday, December 24, 2010
My Mom started a tradition when her oldest daughter started having kids of celebrating the "big" family celebration Christmas Eve so everyone could have the option of being at home on Christmas Day or being with their other relatives. I was ten when my nephew was born, so Christmas Eve celebrations have been a long tradition in my family.
Since many people are still working and finishing holiday preparations, Mom would have an open house where people could drop by and share the day. Her big meal would still be Christmas Day. Christmas Eve was generally snacks and some form of takeout food. Mom still had a large gathering of people who would come on Christmas Day for the real food.
When my parents moved down south, I continued the open house tradition. When I married, I introduced it to my husband's family. My MIL was convinced it was my solution to get out of cooking. However, with the number of finger foods we make, my husband has long been convinced a meal might be less work. However, we still face the challenge that drove Mom to this move many years ago. People arrive and stay all day. We have afternoon guests and post-Church guests. Therefore, there needs to be a range of food that can be stored and heated over the course of the day. A sit down meal would not work.
We still see more people than we would on Christmas Day itself. So many people have family commitments on Christmas. However, stealing an hour or so on Christmas Eve seems fun. We play holiday trivia games and my husband's family introduced Christmas caroling to the tradition. This year my niece is supposed to be bringing her violin to add to my husband's piano. The richness of the celebration continues to grow.
Christmas Day changes for us. This year we are likely going to spend the holiday at home together with the dogs. We like the Christmas morning peace, if there is peace with two shelties. If Bailey was impatient for his toys and bones, I can only imagine what it will be like with two. We have graciously accepted invites on Christmas and we have enjoyed the solitude of having time alone. This year I am looking forward to some time to enjoy our post Christmas Eve cheer.
I wish all of you a safe, happy, and enjoyable Merry Christmas.
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