Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Family Christmas

Growing up, the whole Christmas hooplah was usually the same. My sister and I spent the night with our Granny on Christmas Eve and we'd rent Christmas Vacation or Miracle on 34th Street and eat Molasses cookies all pile into her bed. On Christmas morning, we'd get fixed up, load her car, and head to mom's house. When we walked in, our stockings were laying in front of the fireplace all stuffed with goodies, a fire was in the fireplace, and sausage-egg-cheese casserole was piping hot from the oven. My sister and I would take our seats in front of the fireplace, A Christmas Story was playing on the TV, my stepdad was filming, and my mom passed out all the gifts.

I loved that tradition and we did it that way every year until my third year of marriage. Once Wally and Beaver came, we decided that we wanted to start our own family traditions and we preferred to be in our own home on Christmas morning. The problem is, we live 2.5 hours away from both sets of parents, who live on opposite sides of the state. We reasoned that our house was "in the middle" and if everyone came there, we would always be together for Christmas instead of having to switch between parents every other year.

The first year we began this tradition (2004) I was pregnant with Beaver and Ward and I had just moved into our new house (built in 1977, but new to us) and we couldn't wait to have everyone there. It iced up pretty bad that year (our region of the country does NOT handle this kind of weather well) and we almost had no guests at all. My sister and her fiance slept up in the bonus room with Ward and I, my mother and her fiance slept in our room, my grandmother slept in the guestroom, Ward's grandmother slept with Wally in his room, and Ward's mother slept on the couch in the livingroom. There really wasn't much room and the kitchen in that house was so small it was almost impossible to cook in it, but we made it.

I was afraid after the discomfort that year that no one would want to come back to our house again, but this year marks the 5th year we've hosted Christmas and I think it's safe to say that we have created a new family tradition. We're in a newer, much bigger house now so we have plenty of room to stretch out, and my kitchen is big enough for all 4 women to get in there and make some yummy creations. I love having Christmas in my own home and I hope we can continue this for many years to come.

The only downfall? Cleaning up after everyone has left!!!! :)

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