My family celebrated Christmas with a Norwegian influence. We ate a smorgasbord of appetizers on Christmas Eve, sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and ate a birthday cake, and opened our presents on Christmas Eve. My dad always took us kids out on a walk around the neighborhood to see if we could see Rudolph and Santa's sleigh in the sky, and by the time we returned home, Santa had miraculously dropped our presents off by the fireplace. We ended every Christmas Eve by attending a candlelight service at church. Christmas Day was a day for sleeping in and playing with our gifts.
My parents and siblings still celebrate with these traditions, but since I moved out-of-state and closer to my husband's family, we have developed our own traditions, including tamales on Christmas Eve and presents on Christmas morning.
My kids enjoy the treasures of an Advent Calendar every year. We have a large hanging quilt advent calendar with pockets, but this year we went with a Lego calendar. (No Elf on a Shelf for us!)
Our kids get their photo with Santa every year. Always a different Santa, but so far they haven't commented.
We love Christmas lights! Every year, we drive to Christmas in Cuero. Just a short drive from my in-laws' house, it is a spectacular drive-thru Christmas light display in the city park. There are lights on both sides of the roads, as well as lights across the lake. It takes about 30 minutes to see all the lights by car.
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When we are at home, we drive by a house in our neighborhood with Christmas lights synchronized to music, and we drive through a few other neighborhoods close by that are known for their fabulous Christmas lights.
I would LOVE to do matching Christmas PJs, but my husband refuses to participate. And even if I did buy them, he would not consent to a photo in them. Bah humbug.
I'm sure our traditions will change as our kids get older. This year will be the first year we will actually be at our own house for Christmas, so we are incorporating some of my family's old Norwegian traditions mixed with our new Texas ones.
What are your family Christmas traditions?