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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Q&A!

Growing up with such a big family has forced me to ALWAYS plan ahead with all my holiday shopping.  If I didn't, I'd go INSANE trying to find everything at the last minute. Although I do my best to beat the crowds and the holiday rush by ordering online and shopping early, I inevitably end up having to go to the mall at the last second to help out all the crazy wonderful men in my life. My brothers and my dad apparently find it enjoyable to wait until the very last minute to do ALL of their shopping, so there have been MANY years in which we're running around on Christmas EVE to get all the gifts purchased, wrapped and ready!

Christmas Eve has always been my favorite day of the year. I actually enjoy Christmas Eve more than I enjoy Christmas Day! There is something so special about Christmas Eve. Each year my parents' house is decorated SO beautifully and smells incredible because my mom has made enough food and enough desserts to feed an army. Although the traditions change slightly from year to year, my family and I always go to Mass in the late afternoon and to one of our family friends' houses for dinner. It is so fun to dress up all fancy, drive to Mass with all my siblings and my parents singing "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" (the world's weirdest song), and then have an absolute feast for dinner! In recent years, we have done our "Santa" presents and our siblings presents late in the night on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas morning we let the little kids open their "Santa" presents, so that we can really enjoy the moment and see the happiness and joy on their faces when they receive their special gifts.  

I am, and always have been, a gal who opens her stocking first and then moves onto the bigger items. My brother Jared used to write a note and put it next to his bed on Christmas Eve each year, reminding himself to open his gifts slowly the next morning. As kids we would all tear through our gifts and then Jared would be left with all these presents unopened and we'd think my mom and dad got him more than the rest of us. So as I've matured and grown up (ya, right!) I've tried to take his approach and move slowly as I open gifts, savoring each sweet moment! This is our first Christmas with our new living room (my parents added onto our house last winter), so it will be interesting to see the new locations that everyone stakes out and where our new "spots" will be for opening presents :)

When I was a little girl, I used to go into the living room every morning leading up to Christmas and feel my stocking which was hanging from the mantle, to see if by chance Santa had come early and left me a sweet surprise! My brothers caught on to my little tradition and thought it would be funny to torture me by putting random items in my stocking each morning. I would run downstairs and think I had experienced a Christmas miracle, but then quickly realize it was my cruel brothers when I would find an old gum wrapper. a golf ball or something ridiculous like a spoon in my stocking. It was totally rude and obnoxious. I'll get them back one day. 
I also have such a vivid memory of finishing opening all my gifts one year and thinking I was done, and having my parents tell me to look behind the couch. I zipped around the corner and found a RAZOR SCOOTER and was seriously over the moon! I LOVED that thing!

As my brothers and I have gotten older, the traditions and focus of Christmas have slightly changed. Now that we have little kids in our family again (my nieces and nephew), it is so fun to have "Santa" back in the picture. The little kids are SO excited for tomorrow to see what Santa brings and I think they are going to get a real surprise when they actually get to see/meet him! Santa is dropping off the kids gifts at my parents' house (their grandparents house) right before they arrive for the day and I have a feeling they're going to see him briefly as they're pulling into the driveway. It should be fun to see their giddy faces! I'm also super excited for them to open all the adorable goodies we Santa got for them. Santa may have been reliving her childhood when she purchased all these gifts!

Have a safe and Merry Christmas, and as always, thanks for reading!

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