Every Christmas Eve for the last few years, we’ve gotten together with our good friends, Travis and Aymee, who we’ve known since our Army days back before we had kids. They have four kids of their own now too. The ten of us have a big Italian feast and after diner, all the kids decorate sugar cookies (that Aymee and I made in advance).
Then we drive the decorated cookies over to the local firehouse and give them to the firefighters who are on duty that night to say thank you. We have loved doing this, and I’m sad we’re missing it this year.
After delivering our cookies, our families go our separate ways to get the many munchkins in bed.
Our family tradition has been to let the kids then exchange their sibling gifts before they go to sleep on Christmas Eve. It’s one of my favorite Christmas traditions, and one I’m glad we can keep no matter where we are.
Letting the kids give each other their gifts that night, away from the chaos and excitement that is Christmas morning, really changes the way they exchange their gifts. Instead of being excited about getting something, they’re really most excited to give the gifts they’ve worked so hard on to their siblings and see their reactions. The focus becomes giving, not getting, and it’s so much more fun that way.
Although crafting the gifts adds another whole layer of thought to the process, this year we just don’t have the time or, to be honest, the same amount of crafting tools or supplies because we left so much of that in storage. So we’re going with store-bought gifts, but they’ll be thoughtful and loved just the same.
What are your favorite Christmas traditions? We’re learning about so many new ones here in England and I can’t wait to try some of them and see if we find any we want to take home when we come back.