Christmas Traditions


My oldest, Emma, in 2005.

I’ve always loved Christmas. As a kid the days of December seemed to drag on endlessly as I waited for the Big Day to arrive. When Christmas Eve finally came, I’d sneak toys and games into bed with me because I was too excited to sleep. If I was still awake at midnight, I’d listen for the clatter of reindeer hooves on the roof. I could’ve sworn I heard them!

Now, as a working mom, preparing for the Big Day is hectic and stressful. It sneaks up on me—I look at a calendar and suddenly realize I’ve got less than two weeks to get all my shopping done. Plus I need to write up a bunch of Christmas cards, my kid needs a costume for her school performance, and of course there’s baking to do.

By Christmas Eve hopefully it will all come together. With my kids, I’ve carried on some of the traditions from my childhood. On Christmas Eve we watch the Grinch cartoon (and their current favourite holiday movie, Elf), light a fire in the fireplace (after assuring the kids the fire will be out before Santa comes down the chimney), stuff ourselves with goodies, and leave out cookies and milk for Santa before bed. They’re too excited to sleep, but eventually hubby and I are able to finish wrapping gifts while we watch whatever version of A Christmas Carol is on TV, and then collapse into bed.

All the work and stress are worthwhile when Christmas morning arrives and (if they wait for me to get up) I watch the girls bound into the living room to see what Santa brought. First on the agenda: check that Santa’s plate and glass are empty. Next, dump out the stockings, then begin tearing into the presents under the tree. I love seeing the joy on their faces when they unwrap a toy they’d been hoping to get. After a morning of playing and tucking into chocolate treats, they put on their pretty dresses and we head out to visit their grandparents, who shower them with more presents. The final highlight of the day is the sumptuous turkey dinner, prepared by my mother and mother-in-law on alternating years.

Since I love the yuletide season, it was a joy to write A Baby for untitledChristmas as part of the Christmas on Main Street boxed set—a collection of eleven wonderful seasonal stories at a bargain price!

What Christmas traditions do you most look forward to?


About susanrhughes

Susan R. Hughes is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and historical romance. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and three children.
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4 Responses to Christmas Traditions

  1. Carol says:

    Your girls are blessed with a wonderful mother, Susan. Merry Christmas!


  2. leighmorgan1 says:

    Susan, I agree with Carol! I feel overwhelmed this Christmas with all that needs to be done yet. Still, it’s nice to relax and enjoy the moment when the snuggling can begin! Love you movie list…Elf seems to be making a splash here with the AuthorsofMainStreet. Have a Wonderful holiday with your family.


  3. Tori Scott says:

    Another who is overwhelmed. My house desperately needs cleaning, but with two new puppies and a sloppy 20-something in the house, it’s dirty again as fast as I clean. I can’t decorate, because one of the puppies is a Great Dane who can, and will, reach anything lower than six feet off the ground. I can’t even shop for groceries because the youngest has filled TWO refrigerators with her special food. I have a mountain of gifts to wrap, but again…the puppies. Pulling my hair out here.

    Cute kid pic!


  4. Jill James says:

    I love the preparations leading up to Christmas; the shopping, the wrapping, the baking. It gets me in the Christmas spirit.


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