It’s always been an Eiche Christmas tradition to go over to my grandpa’s house. More recently, we’ve gone over to my parents’ house instead, since we didn’t want to make a mess over at my grandpa’s. To make a very long story short — which is really not mine to tell, anyway — this year my parents have moved into Grandpa’s house to live with him, so we gathered there for Christmas Eve.
While this particular normalcy had been restored, COVID-19 required that another be taken away. It is also tradition to visit my godparents on Christmas Eve, but in the interest of safety and social distancing, we did not. (My godmother and her daughter did stop by for some safe-distance caroling, however, which we all participated in.)
It is (yet another) tradition — if unofficial — for my sister to sing a solo at our church’s Christmas Eve service. Since that wasn’t happening either, she sang for us with my dad accompanying.
Christmas Eve/Day at home
Speaking of traditions, it’s ours — by which I mean Jessica, Namine, and myself — to open our presents on Christmas morning. Our other tradition is to have rolls with almond paste and slathered in cream cheese, almond frosting. But enough about breakfast. Christmas at home is always a blast. Christmas Eve is stocking openings and then Christmas day we see what “Santa” brought. Namine doesn’t believe in Santa but she believes in his magic. She believes more in the birth of Jesus our Savior.
Back to the opening of the gifts — our stockings are usually candy, treats, and small gifts. Our stocking holders are not heavy enough to hold the stockings, so the holders and the stockings usually end up on the floor.
Christmas morning Jessica and I get up early and start the rolls and make sure that all the packages are wrapped and under the tree. This year we forgot some, Oops. As the rolls raise we take turns opening up gifts from each other. We love spending time just enjoying the blessings of Christmas morning.
Christmas Day with family
The remainder of Christmas day we spend with Jessica’s side of the family at her sister’s house. We were missing quite a bit of people this year, but we still had a lot of fun.
We don’t have a traditional Christmas dinner anymore. We started last year by having everyone bring appetizers. It was the best, it is the best. You eat when you’re hungry and that leaves all sorts of time left to play games and just hang out.
After everyone has eaten, or noshed a bit, and the kids get a bit crazy, it’s present time. The adults get gifts for the kids. It’s so much fun watching them open up presents. Namine’s youngest cousin is still so excited, still filled with that wonderment of Christmas joy. Namine is also, but it changes when children grow older. Namine got a book set written by Neil Patrick Harris, she also got a Tiny Chef. This was her favorite; I know by the high pitched screams in my ear. He is a small plushy and when you push his belly he speaks gibberish. Namine’s cousin thought he was speaking Spanish.
After all the kids open up their gifts it is time for the adults to open theirs. In years past we played the saran wrap game, this year we played a white elephant gift exchange game — the object of which was to give weird, amusing, and totally impractical gifts. Ideally, one would not get stuck receiving one’s own gift.
It has indeed been a year. The one thing which we have learned is that family is everything. Keep Christ in your heart as we travel into the new year. Blessings to all, and to all a good night!