We are now 2 days post Christmas, but I am totally still in the spirit!! Who's with me?
You can't just turn it off when December 26th rolls around.
Today I am sharing a recap of all of our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day traditions!
I cherish these so much and love the time that we get to spend with our familes.
Being married and sharing holidays can be tricky. Since my hubby's family lives in Atlanta, we switch Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays every other year. It's a system that works for us!
This year we were with my family in Charlotte for Christmas, but I will be sharing our traditions from both sides!
Christmas Eve Day
We start the day off with a yummy breakfast and a relaxing morning at home.
Many years ago my older cousin, Paul, and I started the tradition of having lunch together, and somehow it always turned into my helping him shop for Christmas gifts. We always go to Qdoba Mexican Grill; it's our favorite!
The afternoon consists of any last minute wrapping of gifts and getting everything
ready for that evening (including myself).
We always attend the candle light service at church; singing "Silent Night" with all of the candles lit is just so special.
After church, we head over to my Aunt Rita and Uncle Terry's house for supper, gift exchanges, and just some good ol' family time. My Aunt Rita is an amazing cook, and she always has her famous seafood gumbo and Rosetta cookies, which is basically just fried batter with powdered sugar.
Then we head home for the night where we watch "A Christmas Story" and have a celebratory cocktail!
My in-law's always have a family dinner on Christmas Eve, and their neighbors always throw a party, so we usually drop in at that, too. It's always a packed house and a good time! That night we always watch "Home Alone" in our new sets of matching pajamas. I love this tradition, and this year we got onesies--priceless!!
It is always a packed day, and we get an early start (on both sides). It's a good thing because
I have never been good at waiting for Christmas morning.
My parents' saying is "if you believe then you receive," so we always exchange gifts and
see if Santa came to visit at their house.
Next, we head off to my Gammy and Paw Paw's house for a breakfast feast. We have it ALL: eggs, grits, biscuits, two different kinds of gravy for the biscuits (I prefer one kind, & my Aunt Dana prefers another), Lil' Smokey sausages, pork sausage patties, bacon, and country ham. This is the one morning we get to enjoy Poinsettias with breakfast--basically a Christmas mimosa. Yummy! Then we all exchange gifts, and my Gammy even does stockings for us. We always get the same things: Andies mints, a new tooth brush, tooth paste, a small specialty gift, gum, and a $50 bill in the toe!
Now, when my great-grandparents were still with us (my Gammy's mom and dad) we would head to their house for lunch time. There we got to do one of my favorite traditions of Christmas that is very unique to my family--dig in "the money bowl." My Papa had a special crystal punch bowl that he filled with quarters, dimes, and nickels;
and each person got to dig in the bowl. Whatever you go out, you got to keep.
There were strict rules when it came to the money bowl:
You could dig with 2 hands until you were 6 years old or you went to school, after which you dug with one hand.
You could not rake or throw the money out of the bowl.
Your hand had to come straight up and out of the bowl.
Your non-digging hand could be on the side of the bowl for leverage, but you could not use it
to touch, scrape, or alter the money.
If somebody was not able to be there, the relative closest in age would dig for that person.
The digging order was always youngest to oldest. My Papa would always man the bowl and the rules, adding more coins to the bowl after each person, and my Mama Flo would record how much you got each year in her spiral notebook.
Even though they are no longer with us, my Gammy and Paw Paw carry on the tradition with us.
Last but not least, we always have Christmas dinner with my mom's side of the family. There are 6 grandkids and 7 great-grandkids(so far), so we have a large, loud, Italian crowd. I love every second of it!
On my husband's side, we always do Santa with my neice and then exchange gifts with each other. Last year it was so relaxing, and my sisters-in-law and I stayed in our jammies well into the afternoon. We usually try to squeeze in some form of exercise like a walk around the neighborhood before having a big family feast!
I would love to hear about your family's Christmas traditions! Comment and let me know what your favorite things are!!
Thank you for reading, and I hope you all had a VERY Merry Christmas!!
Cheers - Molly