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.
What Christmas traditions do you most look forward to?