After dinner we would open gifts. Some one played Santa, (usually me) and handed out the gifts. One gift at a time, one person at a time. So each person could enjoy their moment in the spotlight as well as the giver could enjoy seeing their gift opened.
There would be egg nog made by my Great Aunt Ethel and we would have home made fruitcake. I love fruitcake, always have so if you get one and don't like it, send it to me.
When I had my own family I followed the same tradition as closely as possible. See, I was an only child and I had four rambunctious boys so it didn't always go as smoothly as my childhood ones did with only one child. But that was our tradition and we did it.
Fast forward to the early 90's and I found myself at my first single lady Christmas Eve, with only two of my grown sons dropping in for a little while to see me. Not the same and hasn't been since. I tried to get some of my married children to do it the way we always had but they have wives with their own traditions. Going to Vegas even became a consideration but since I don't gamble or drink, what was the point?
I have had a few Christmas Eve's that have been close to the old days but it has been kind of hit and miss. It seems to me that this sort of thing is really personal and how do we let go of the past. How do we deal with the fact that things change and we can't even control our traditions? Make some new ones? Just remember the old ones as a fond memory?
AND.....on a lighter note here is something I enjoyed doing.
Okay, here's what you're supposed to do, and try not to be a SCROOGE!!! Just copy it onto your blog and change the answers where necessary.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial
3. When do you put up the tree? A couple of weeks before Christmas
4. When do you take the tree down? (also known as 12th Night)
5. Do you like eggnog? I like eggnog, with a little 7-Up in it.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? A Toni doll
7. Hardest person to buy for? Mark, he already has everything
8. Easiest person to buy for? Todd
9. Do you have a ? Yes
10. Mail or e-mail Christmas Cards? Both
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Dishes from my 'wasband' and I didn't have the courage or the sense to tell him I didn't like them so I got add on pieces for the next 10 years. Blech....
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? It's a toss up between It's a Wonderful Life (like I want life to be) and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (more like my life is)
13 When do you start shopping for Christmas? I shop all year long and more recently I added online shopping
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Those little round cookies with all the powdered sugar on them and Hollie's home made fudge and Clam Chowder or Oyster Stew on Christmas Eve
16. Lights on the tree? Pre-lit tree.
17. Favorite ? Aaron Neville Christmas Album
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay Home
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Sure. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Doner, Blitzen..is that it?
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel on a star (new this year) before a tall spiky thing
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? People saying Happy Holidays instead of Happy Hanukkah or
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I love white lights and the crystal, silver, pale, ice look on a tree
24. Favorite for Christmas Dinner? Prime Rib and mashed potatoes, and other trimmings.25. What do you want for Christmas this year? A fruitcake