Dec 23, 2010

A Christmas Story

I wanted to share a story with you that I hope does not turn into a book!!

When my boys were about 8 and 10 we were sitting around the tree one evening talking after reading the Christmas story. And one of them commented that after we get up on Christmas morning things seemed to be over so fast. Now I ask what he meant and he explained how we get up and open gifts and then all that's left is the mess!!!

So this got me to thinking. After asking them a few more questions and discovering that what they wished was that the gift opening could last longer and that "Christmas" would last all day long. So we worked together and decided to make a plan and make just that very thing take place at our house that year. In fact we stretched it and enjoyed it so well that they wanted to make it a tradition. Here is what we came up with.

A few days before the big day we sat around the tree and handed out the gifts as if we were going to open them. They had a blast doing this because playing under the tree was a no-no so this way they got to see all their packages. Now I had made sure that the number was even for each. So then they counted them and made tiny tags for each one with a number on them. It was fun to watch them pick which to place the number 1 on and so forth.  Then after the stack was completely  numbered, we placed all the gifts back under the tree.

Now before we went to bed on Christmas eve I made a breakfast casserole (strata) and placed it in the fridge. So when we got up on Christmas morning I could put on the coffee pot and turn on the oven. The boys came down shortly and we started handing out the gifts and everyone sat in the middle of their pile. Now I had to throw a bit more fun in the mix here so, I had written the numbers down on tiny slips of paper 1-? and each boy had a small jar full of numbers. They decided who would go first and then they drew a number and found the gift.  They would open it and then the next guy would pick a number and open his.

After about 8-9 gifts I went and put the casserole in the oven. But when I returned they had talked it over and decided to add their own twist. They ask us if they could stop opening for now and play with what they had opened and have breakfast and then play some more and then after we ate dinner (around 2pm) we could sit and finish Christmas. We were not sure this was a good idea but they wanted to so we agreed and it was a wonderful Christmas and I have to say it is where a new tradition was born.

So don't be afraid to start something new!! I believe it helped our boys to appreciate things all the more. And since it was their idea it was easy to make happen as well.

Do you have any little quirky traditions at your house? Maybe something that everyone thought was corny till they tried it out? If so please leave a comment and share it with me.

And remember Christmas is not about the gifts anyway. It is about love. A love that was so strong that the baby Jesus was born just for you.

Merry Christmas everyone!!


  1. That sounds like a good tradition, that way there isn't such a let down. You have something else to look forward to later in the day. I used to make sure my boys had the same amount of gifts, too. They seemed to always count them. My mom used to have this old Santa Hat that she would wear and pass out the gifts. I have the hat now and wear it on Christmas. As a matter of fact, I wrote a story about it and it was published last year in an anthology book titled, Christmas Traditions.

  2. Wonderful idea! We all open one present at at time, with muchy breaks and time to visit added in there. The hurry and rush is not nearly as much fun - sounds like you have a wonderful tradition!

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  4. oops...accidentally deleted my comment. I said this is a great tradition. I wouldn't be able to do that here because of the young age of the grands and the fact we always have to go to someones house during the day too.

  5. Wonderful tradition and the fact that the kids came up with it makes it even more special.
    I'll be thinking of you Christmas Day.

  6. Sorry, but I forgot to wish Maggie and Zeke a Merry Christmas too.


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