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GAC
12-23-2006, 07:31 AM
Do any of you have any? How about fond memories growing up?

The reason why I love "A Christmas Story" is because, as a "member" of that older generation, it does remind me alot of my youth. Some of those traditions in that movie were real to me. Especially being bundled up in those snow suits where you could barely move. If you fell over, you were like a turtle lying on it's shell, waiting for someone to come by and help you up. :lol:

And my younger brother did get his tongue stuck to the flag pole we had in our yard. Dad was not too happy with me at all. ;)

I remember having white Christmas'. Does it even snow any more on Christmas? It's been close to the 50's around here lately.

My brothers and I were outside constantly - building snow forts, having snowball fights, sledding with the neighborhood kids at the local hill, ice skating at the local pond, and making .75 cents for shoveling driveways/sidewalks. That was big money then.

My Mom was Donna Reed. It was almost like the Stepford Wives in the neighborhood. She, and all the neighborhood ladies, would make dozens of Christmas cookies that we neighborhood kids were always running around and delivering to each other's houses. And these were cookies made from scratch too. Not a Pillsbury roll.

On Christmas Eve she'd always leave a plate of cookies and hot chocolate on the table with a note to Santa. Good ol' Mom.

Freaked the crap out of my brother and I when we saw our Dad eating them one year. We laid in bed with paranoid thoughts of Santa doing a "flyover" over our house because our Dad ate his snack.

We had a fireplace with stockings over it. Which was always the last thing checked by us on Christmas morning.

Do parents today still do the stocking thing?

And of course there was the Christmas card racket. My Dad worked for the post office, and always had to work OT during that time of year, so he didn't care much for it.

But Mom would always take the cards and hung them around the various door openings.

And of course Dad would decorate the outside of the house. We had one of those very same Santa in the sled with the reindeers that Chevy Chase launched at the end of Christmas Vacation. Every year Dad would climb up on the roof and set this thing up.

We all loved driving around and looking at Christmas lights.

I don't really know if they had artificial trees back then. All I know was that it was a joyful family affair to go out at the beginning of December to get the live tree. They were usually sold at the local fire stations.

And there was always the annual family sledding party with various cousins and relatives in tow. We would go to a local farmer that had one of the best hills for sledding too. But it was no fun trudging back up that hill. My uncle had a solid oak 8 ft toboggan that belonged to him and my Dad when they were kids. It had been around for decades and was solid as a rock. They would wax that thing up a couple weeks before use. We kids also had our American Flyer sleds that we got at the local Western Auto store (anyone remember those?), and they were always beat up and nailed back together because of all the things we use to wreck them in to. And their was always the bon fire to get warm by and to cook hot chocolate. Great times!

And of course it was a family tradition to watch all of the great Holiday classic movies, children's TV specials, and of course the Christmas specials with the Bing Crosby and Andy Williams families.

On Christmas Eve, my brothers and I would always TRY to go to bed around 8 o'clock because we wanted to get the evening over with and get right to the next day. One of the longest nights of the year for a kid!

And while my Mom was Dona Reed, my Dad was Dagwood Bumstead. The guy was a piddler and couldn't be on time for anything. Every morning Mom would yell up the stairs that his eggs were getting cold, and he'd come running down, gulp what he could, and go flying out the door, just to make it to work at the buzzer. It was his daily routine. We all still laugh about it today, though Dad is gone.

On Christmas morning, we all had to wait until he got through in the bathroom (shaving, etc). To my recollection, these were the only times I ever had thoughts of wanting to hurt my Dad; but to a kid, sitting there in view of all those presents, it was pure psychological torture!

And of course, when it did come time to open the presents, my Dad would always tell us beforehand "Try to save the paper and bows", because they would save them and re-use it next year. A very practical man my Dad. We tore through ours while he'd sit in his favorite chair and meticulously try to peel away the scotch tape, not harming the paper, and very carefully unwrap the present. We were done in 5 minutes. He still had gifts to unwrap at 10 AM.

And afterwards came the huge family get-together and dinner. We'd have our basement all decorated and set up with numerous tables. My Mom and Dad came from very large families, so our Christmas get-togethers were huge. And the food was always excellent.

My biggest worry though was trying to keep my cousins from coming over and breaking any of our toys THAT DAY. We reserved that honor for ourselves. ;)

Very fond memories.

I have done my best to build those "traditions" with my kids.

The yearly trek to go and get the tree. Watching the Holiday movies/specials together.

Next week, since we are all off, we will go tubing over at Madriver Ski Mountain if it gets cold enough. They make their own snow. We always have a blast there.

dman
12-23-2006, 07:55 AM
My favorite is going to the State Auto headquarters building in Columbus on Christmas Eve and watching them place Baby Jesus in the manger at their Nativity scene. Their Nativity scene is hands down, the best I've ever looked at.

GAC, I remember white Christmas' also. I have been bummed here lately because of the mild temps and rain. I gladly would have traded any gift that was bought for me for a significant amount of snow.

RedsBaron
12-23-2006, 08:36 AM
To a certain extent my Christmas memories tend to blur together--all happy, but a blur. Growing up, we always opened gifts on Christmas morning. Other than maybe getting a toy on my birthday, Christmas morning was the one time a year I got new toys as a kid, and I would get a lot then.
One of my favorite Christmases was around 1965. I got a pinball machine. My favorite uncle was visiting us from the Wooster area that Christmas, and I can remember how he liked the pinball machine.
For some reason I can remember the toys I got at around that time better than any before or since: A Mattel "Fanner Fifty," a Man From U.N.C.L.E. gun, a "Dogfight" board game, "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em" robots. Those toys are long gone, but I did buy replacements of the "Dogfight" game and the robots off E-Bay, and I've played the games with my nine year old son.
A a boy it seemed as if we had plenty of snow at Christmas, and i can recall sleigh rides, snowball fights, snowmen, etc.
I can also remeber how much it pleased me the first Christmas after I got out of law school. For the first time I could really buy my mom and dad something nice with my own money. I enjoyed that. I can also remember the first Christmas after I became engaged; I was more excited watching my bride-to-be open the gifts I had bought her than I ever was opening anything for myself.
Now, with three sons, we have aroutine. We will spend much of tomorrow evening at the home of my mom and her husband, having dinner and opening gifts. My sister and her hubby and daughters will also be there. Christmas morning we will open gifts here. We will then go to my wife's parents hoem for dinner and gift giving. Her sister and family will also be there.

Yachtzee
12-23-2006, 10:38 AM
My favorite is going to the State Auto headquarters building in Columbus on Christmas Eve and watching them place Baby Jesus in the manger at their Nativity scene. Their Nativity scene is hands down, the best I've ever looked at.

GAC, I remember white Christmas' also. I have been bummed here lately because of the mild temps and rain. I gladly would have traded any gift that was bought for me for a significant amount of snow.

A white Christmas may look nice, but for me up here on the edge of the snow belt (I'm actually in what they call the "secondary snow belt"), I'm okay if Heat Mizer wants to give us a green Christmas. It will give me time to get my shopping done. Ever since we've moved into our house, we've been hit pretty hard the last 3 of 4 Christmasses. For someone with a bad back, clearing that snow can be a lot of work. Last year we got hit so hard in late Nov. and Dec. that I asked everyone to just chip in and get me a snow blower because I couldn't handle the shoveling any more. The irony is that, right after I got the snow blower for Christmas, it hardly snowed again the rest of last winter. This year we've gotten 1 decent snow so far. Based on this track record, my friend asked me what my next big purchase would be that would alter weather patterns. :laugh:

westofyou
12-23-2006, 11:41 AM
When in Cincinnati we always check out the Nativity scene here.

Paul R. Young Funeral Home
7345 Hamilton Ave.
Mount Healthy, OH 45231

TeamMorris
12-23-2006, 03:30 PM
Always had nice Christmas's but were VERY busy for me as a kid until I was about 11 or 12. Christmas eve was always spent at home doing the getting ready for Santa thing. Christmas day was the crazy part. The morning was spent with TB as always, then off to my Grandmothers for gifts and an early Christmas dinner. After that we would head to TB's fiancés's parent's house for gifts and a later dinner. Most of the time I left before dinner to go to my fathers house where we had yet another Christmas and I would spend the night and most of the following day. That was rough on a little kid knowing all those other gifts were sitting home just waiting for me. It was like Christmas all over again when I got home:) I think as I got older things calmed down a bit when I started complaining. I loved my dad very much but really wanted to be with my mom all day on Christmas. Started going to my dad's the following morning. Then he moved to Florida when I was 11 or 12.

Yes GAC, we still do the stocking thing. Santa only fills Matty's stocking and the grown ups pitch in to fill each others. The grown ups wrap each others stocking stuffers while the ones Santa brings are unwrapped (along with the gifts he brings so they are the first thing he see's in the morning and there is no question what Santa brought). I guess that could be considered a family tradition. That is how it was done in my house when I was little and how I continue to do it.

Being brought up in upstate NY, we NEVER had the lack of snow on Christmas either. Many blizzards on Christmas day. One gift most kids asked for on Christmas were sleds and I mean every year. We would destroy them in one winter because they were used so much. Anyone remember those Ronco plastic snow block things? We all had one and they really worked! LOL! Making snow caves in plow piles was always fun also.

Other than what I have mentioned already, we sometimes open a gift on Christmas eve now. Usually something Christmas related like new PJ's, a decoration or ornaments. We also have Christmas dinner on Christmas eve. One less thing to worry about on Christmas and makes the day much more relaxing. People eat leftovers when they are ready....no schedule to follow. We have wonderful Christmas. Believe it or not even with a 6 year old in the house they are very laid back. He doesn't just rip through his gifts. He checks each one out carefully and most of the time is ready to play with it for a bit before moving on to the next. Is nice to have the day last a bit after all that hard work getting there!!

Ok...I am now just rambling! Hope everyone has a great Christmas!!

TeamCasey
12-23-2006, 03:52 PM
I have better Christmases with the Teamsters than I did growing up. That shuffling between parents and all the guilt involved sucks! (Are you spending equal time with both, etc.)

I love staying in a robe all day. My brother and I agree that we just won't travel on Christmas day again.

On Christmas eve, Teamboone reads Twas the Night Before Christmas and the story of Jesus. The last couple years, we strung cranberries and popcorn for our wildlife friends. No snow this year, so they're pretty fat and happy this year. The exhausting part happens after an excited little boy finally falls asleep and "Santa" does his work. Usually cocktails are involved. ;) We also have dinner on Christmas eve, so there isn't much work on Christmas day. We have leftovers and shrimp cocktail and crab dip, etc.

Christmas morning, I sneak down before people get up and build a fire and start breakfast. We usually get through 3 pots of coffee before cocktails.

Lil Teamgriffey asked me if a bird was going to die again. :yikes: I don't know how kids remember this stuff. We sat down to dinner a couple years ago and a cardinal flew into the picture window right there at the dinner table. Aunt TC couldn't save him.

TeamCasey
12-23-2006, 03:54 PM
Teamgriffey leaves cookies, milk and carrots for the reindeer.

Aunt TC nibbles all.

TeamCasey
12-23-2006, 03:59 PM
Do your families rip through gifts or open one at a time taking turns?

Ours lasts until late afternoon.

The first year the TG was old enough for cool toys we overdid it and it took him 2 days. We learned a lesson that year.

Highlifeman21
12-23-2006, 05:31 PM
Since 2003, it seems my Christmas Eve tradition is.... working.

Here's to continuing the trend tomorrow!

919191
12-23-2006, 05:45 PM
I don't let anyone make my kids take tirns. I get more enjoyment watching them tear into things with a look of zeal on their faces. To make them wait, I think, is needlessly selfish- their gifts are about them, not me.

TeamCasey
12-23-2006, 07:19 PM
Ours isn't selfish because we've always done it that way. It works so far, and he's used to it. If he gets something cool, one of the adults is helping him set it up while someone else is opening something.

We play, eat and open all at the same time.

If he gets a shirt on one gift, we make sure he gets something occupiable and fun the next. We can read when he's getting antsy.

Honestly, one year some relatives were in town and they just let the kids come down and rip into them. Christmas was over in 5 minutes. It wasn't enjoyable and I don't even think the kids knew what they got. Of course, it was 5-6 kids and utter chaos.

I'm not saying either way is better. It just works for us.

GIK
12-23-2006, 07:25 PM
I grew up opening gifts one at a time. I actually prefer it that way as the fun lasts longer. I also like seeing the reaction of others as they open. But that's me.

Yachtzee
12-23-2006, 10:15 PM
When I was a kid, our traditional Christmas involved bathing and getting to bed on Christmas Eve, no presents. Later on, my mom started letting us open stockings on Christmas Eve, but my dad always kind of frowned upon opening gifts before going to church. His feeling was that you should grace the Lord with your presence before opening your presents. On Christmas day, we observed the following operating procedure:

1. Get up and get dressed for 8:30 am mass. This mass was nice because it was uncrowded and they usually had the fun "Guitar Nuns" playing this mass.

2. Once back home, we would have breakfast. Usually bacon, eggs, and toast.

3. Open presents. One person would play "Santa Claus" and hand out presents. We would open them one as received, which could be one by one or simultaneous, depending on who was dealing.

4. We got a few hours to play while dad drank enough coffee for the 3 1/2 hour drive from Cuyahoga Falls (near Akron) to Troy. Then we all jumped into the car for the trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house.

5. Stop at the Mansfield McDonalds for lunch and a bathroom break.

6. Once we got to Grandma and Grandpa's house, we played with our cousins while we waited for dinner.

7. Eat dinner. Grandma's rule was that there were no presents until all plates were cleared. As we got older, her rules relaxed a bit. Also, the main course later became peel-and-eat shrimp when Grandma no longer had the energy to cook such a large meal. Grandpa liked to play quirky Christmas music during dinner. Sometimes it was something off-the-wall like "A Space Music Christmas," but the most popular was the Cajun Christmas Music.

8. Open presents again. Here, my Grandma handed out presents and we opened them as she handed them out. It was important to make sure Grandma got to see you open your present. She loved to shop and would prepare for Christmas year round and loved to see it when somebody got something they really wanted.

9. The kids would pass out from so much Christmas joy. The adults would adjourn to the dining room table to sit around, drink a few (or many) beers and "solve the world's problems."

10. The next day was the trip to the Dayton Mall to return anything that didn't fit right or just wasn't your style. Grandma always had gift receipts at the ready if you didn't like your gift.

GAC
12-24-2006, 05:48 AM
Don't anyone tell my son, but his Dad found him a Nintendo Wii.

I was getting kind of worried because that was all he wanted for Christmas, and basically all he was gonna get too. So he was looking at not having anything under the tree on Christmas morning (which I felt bad about).

But he is 17 and understood that I'd get him one after Christmas when the stock was more readily available.

But I am gonna lead him along till Christmas morning, thinking he didn't get one. :ughmamoru

We had our family Christmas down at Mom's yesterday. It was a great time. Me and my two younger brothers, along with our uncle, who is about 6 years older then me, sat around talking/reminiscing about all the good times and crazy stuff we did as kids.

And I wonder why my kids are so honery? :lol:

I got a really neat Beatles book from my Mom. My older sister made my a cheese cake (best in the world) and also a couple dozen no-bake cookies (my favorite).

Today we'll wrap presents, watch Christmas movies culminating tonight in the family tradition of watching NL's Christmas Vacation. My wife will be cooking all day as her parents and family come up tomorrow to shower the kids with money. And we'll have to take them out this week to spend it.

I hope everyone on here has a A JOYOUS AND SAFE HOLIDAYS



http://www.tracone.com/christmas_carols/wallpapers/WP_1024x768_christmas-santa-frosty-1.jpg

Caveat Emperor
12-24-2006, 05:52 AM
I like seeing the reaction of others when I give them gifts, but I hate people staring at me when I open mine.

I recognize the inconsistency there, and I'm OK with it.

Even though we're Catholic, our family tradition was always to get Chinese food on Christmas Eve and then go to midnight mass. Christmas morning we really don't have any set traditions lately, but that's mostly because I worked a lot of Christmas mornings at the theater when I was in college.

Nothing quite like spending 9 hours serving food to people on Christmas day.

Yachtzee
12-24-2006, 09:42 AM
I like seeing the reaction of others when I give them gifts, but I hate people staring at me when I open mine.

I recognize the inconsistency there, and I'm OK with it.

Even though we're Catholic, our family tradition was always to get Chinese food on Christmas Eve and then go to midnight mass. Christmas morning we really don't have any set traditions lately, but that's mostly because I worked a lot of Christmas mornings at the theater when I was in college.

Nothing quite like spending 9 hours serving food to people on Christmas day.

I've had two jobs that require working on holidays. Working at the movie theater and working at the data center for a major department store chain. The movie theater work was hectic, but it went by quickly because we were busy all day. The data center work was boring, just sitting there watching a couple monitors running sales data just to make sure none of the stores' systems went down during the big sales. On the plus side, you got double vacation days in return.

halcyon
12-24-2006, 11:22 AM
My grandparents have always had a tradition that all of their children and grandchildren go and spend Christmas Eve-evening at their house. Everyone wants to come and most do (they had ten children and a host of grandkids and great grandkids) and we all get to open at least one gift. After that, my immediate family returns home and we attend a midnight candlelight service at my church. Its always been a special day to me. Getting to see so many people that I never see anymore is great.

westofyou
12-24-2006, 01:47 PM
Here's a new one (http://www.workbenchmedia.com/christmas/)

vaticanplum
12-24-2006, 03:33 PM
I like seeing the reaction of others when I give them gifts, but I hate people staring at me when I open mine.

I understand the latter sentiment, but this entire concept sounds really nice to me. Christmas Eve night is the big holiday in my family, and my family is so big and loud and insane that the thought of even looking at a present is pretty foreign to me. We always try, but by about present #3 it's all gone to pot; everything is just lost in a sea of pasta and fish and alcohol and screaming and wrapping paper. At some point someone ends up injured, usually a small child, and at some point something breaks. It is utter mayhem. You would have to put a tracking device on a present you give to have any hope of seeing the recipient open it.

I remember when my future aunt was dating my uncle and came to her first Christmas Eve at our house, and she told us about how in her family they ate first, then sat down to open presents, which they did one at a time, and how they would sit around and discuss each individual present. We all just stared at her. I'm sure she felt incredibly comfortable. But she's weathered it well and now she's just part of the whole thing.

TeamCasey
12-24-2006, 07:15 PM
Dinner is done. We're gathering feed for the reindeer and cookies for Santa. I forgot, we also track Santa through the Nasa site.

KittyDuran
12-24-2006, 08:06 PM
Dinner is done. We're gathering feed for the reindeer and cookies for Santa. I forgot, we also track Santa through the Nasa site.Does NASA have it on their site? I can't find it... I know NORAD does.

TeamCasey
12-24-2006, 08:37 PM
Norad .... that's what I meant. My bad.

TeamCasey
12-24-2006, 08:52 PM
Hmmmmmm ...... I just thought about making reindeer poop. I wish I'd thought of it early.

BTW ...... this child is at the believingest, most fun age.

Chip R
12-25-2006, 01:21 AM
I like seeing the reaction of others when I give them gifts, but I hate people staring at me when I open mine.



I don't think that's inconsistant. I'm not uncomfortable having people watching me open gifts but I enjoy watching others open what I got them.

919191
12-25-2006, 02:35 AM
I had alot of problems with the Norad site. Must have been undergoing heavy usagee.

MrCinatit
12-25-2006, 05:54 AM
I have a couple of goofy ones, but I guess they are traditions, nonetheless.
One I am doing right now - watching A Christmas Story. A classic.
Second, I play SimCity 4 for a bit. Why? There is an Easter Egg in the game: when it hits Dec. 25, snow will appear at certain elevations during the winter time in the game. While modifications have given us snow for the game, it is unique this time of the year because you can see the size of the snowed area increase and decrease with time. Very cool.
Finally, my dad and I have a yearly contest: who can wrap the worst package. I am naturally a terrible wrapper. This year, most of my "wrapping" consisted of boxes and bags.
But my entry is a classic: i first boxed it - the top and the bottom of the box are different sizes. I used regular tape on the wrapping, as well as duct tape. I also used three different types of wrapping paper. Finally, I taped a terrible picture of myself on the top of the package :D

GAC
12-25-2006, 05:55 AM
Hmmmmmm ...... I just thought about making reindeer poop. I wish I'd thought of it early.

This works for me....

http://www.40ozmaltliquor.com/strohs.jpg

GAC
12-25-2006, 05:56 AM
I don't think that's inconsistant. I'm not uncomfortable having people watching me open gifts but I enjoy watching others open what I got them.

That's because you have to watch their reaction so you can say "I saved the receipt". :mooner:

KittyDuran
12-25-2006, 07:54 PM
When I was growing up everything was Christmas Day - it was only when I became an adult (18+ years) did my family celebrate on Christmas Eve. Mainly the tradition changed because my older sisters had their own families and spent Christmas Day going to different places. (it's now gone back to Christmas Day)

My two main memories about the holidays was getting up early on Christmas Day with my little sister (around 5:30-6am) to see what Santa brought - those gifts would be left out in the open and not wrapped. The wrapped presents had to wait until mom and dad woke up. Can't remember what we ate for breakfast - probably weren't too hungry anyway. There were many a Christmas Day (and Eve) in which my dad wasn't there because he was working (as a police officer). Also, before I was born, my dad was in the Navy and was usually at sea during Xmas. The other memory was not so great... my dad would get us all in the car to drive up to Dayton (Fairborn, actually) to his sister's townhouse to celebrate Christmas Day with her family. That was fine (the food was great) but we had to sit there and watch them open their presents, which were many (they had none for us - which upset my mom). Later a cousin said jokingly that some of the presents were empty boxes because he picked them up and they were as light as a feather!

After the presents were opened and depending on the weather - we headed up to the elementary school with the big hill to go sledding or rode our bikes to check out our friends gifts from Santa. Best presents from Santa? A giant teddy bear and a telescope.

KittyDuran
12-25-2006, 07:59 PM
I don't think that's inconsistant. I'm not uncomfortable having people watching me open gifts but I enjoy watching others open what I got them.I'm the same way... I get a bigger joy out of seeing the reactions to my gifts - especially if I put in a lot of effort. This year I bought my mom two $25 gift certificates to Belterra Casino and my dad 5 rounds of golf (9 holes each round) at his favorite course. Even though my mom wasn't that surprised at her gift (I give the same last year), my dad was totally caught off guard with his. I don't think he thought I knew what his favorite golf course was.

RANDY IN INDY
12-25-2006, 08:48 PM
My wife gave me a few rounds of golf for Christmas, which I really liked. One of the courses is a really nice one that I don't get to play often because it is a little too pricey.

KittyDuran
12-25-2006, 08:56 PM
My wife gave me a few rounds of golf for Christmas, which I really liked. One of the courses is a really nice one that I don't get to play often because it is a little too pricey.My dad's course is semi-private and local, plus being a senior his rounds were cheaper ($12). It was kinda funny when I inquired about the certificates... the guy asked if my dad walked or rode? I didn't know! Then he asked for my dad's name, but didn't recognize it. Then he asked who he golfed with and I could only remember one person! When I said his name, the guy replied "They walk". I was surprised about this since my dad is 84 and the guys he plays with are mostly in their 50s. But it is cheaper if you walk.

RANDY IN INDY
12-25-2006, 10:27 PM
I would much rather walk, than ride, but they don't allow it much around here. There is a little par 3 course that I play from time to time, just so I can walk and get a little more exercise, of course, with my 9 year old, I get a lot of that anyway. I hope I can still play and "walk it" if I reach 84. Your dad probably loved those rounds you gave him, Kitty. Great Christmas present.

KittyDuran
12-25-2006, 10:47 PM
I would much rather walk, than ride, but they don't allow it much around here. There is a little par 3 course that I play from time to time, just so I can walk and get a little more exercise, of course, with my 9 year old, I get a lot of that anyway. I hope I can still play and "walk it" if I reach 84. Your dad probably loved those rounds you gave him, Kitty. Great Christmas present.He did! My dad golfs, when the weather is nice 3x a week, usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday. In the winter he heads out around 10am (when the course opens) and during the summer he leaves around 7am. BTW, he's loving this mild weather this winter we're having here in SW Ohio, except for the rain, of course.

Dom Heffner
12-26-2006, 01:21 PM
We may have started a tradition at my house.

My mom brought over a DVD of the old Paul Dixon show (the chicken wedding) and it was hilarious. How a grown man was allowed to look at girls knees thorugh binoculars in 1969 is beyond me, but it was so funny. I see the influence on Letterman, that's for sure.

Some guy on ebay has a few episodes and we are going to try and get one for every year coming up.

Red Leader
12-26-2006, 02:00 PM
Our family's traditions:

Christmas Eve: We always, since I was a kid, go to my Grandma's for Christmas Eve. These days, it's mostly out of respect. We eat dinner there around 6pm and then afterwards go down to her basement to see if Santa has arrived. The tradition is that my Grandma goes downstairs first with her camera and the oldest male (my Dad, my Grandfather before him) goes downstairs with the youngest (this year my 3 year old son). Doesn't sound that cool, but it's a nice tradition that I enjoy. Seeing my Grandfather walk downstairs with my oldest son a couple years ago is a memory I'll never forget. Now, seeing my Dad walk down with my youngest son is a memory I'll keep with me for a long, long time. The reaction on the youngest's face is always priceless and we have pictures going back to when I was the youngest to look at each year (which is so nice). After the youngest yells at the top of his lungs "Santa was here," everyone else comes downstairs. My grandma gives her gifts to my sister, my parents, me, my wife, and our 2 kids. There aren't that many gifts because the only gifts we open are gifts from my Grandma and she's pretty practical on what she buys people (1-2 gifts apiece). We randomly open presents and sit around and talk while the kids play with their new toys. This is when the "open presents as soon as you get them method works, IMO). We stay there until about 11:30 and then head from there to midnight mass.

Christmas Day: The kids wake up at our house and sneak down the stairs to see if Santa has come. They come into our bedroom to wake us up and bring all of the stockings upstairs with them. We open the stockings in our bedroom. After the stockings have been emptied, we go downstairs for gifts. I pass out the gifts to everyone. We take turns opening them. The youngest opens his first gift, then my oldest son opens a gift, then Mom, then me. I like doing it this way because everyone gets to see what everyone else got. When we are done opening presents, we eat a big breakfast, then put together toys, etc and play with them until around 1:30pm.

At that time, we go to my parents house. They shower the kids with gifts, I pass them out and the kids rip through their presents at light speed and then want me to put all of their stuff together for them. This is why I don't like doing the "rip your presents to pieces as soon as you get them method," and prefer the "taking turns, one at a time thing." First, I don't even get to see what they got when they open it because I'm still passing presents out. Second, I haven't even had a chance to open one of my presents by the time they are finished and they are already asking me to put stuff together for them. It just feels like chaos. After the kids open all of their gifts, and Mom and Dad get around to opening our gifts some 1-2 hours later, we eat a big dinner around 5pm. After dinner we all take turns putting pieces of the manger scene away with the oldest member of the family (my Grandma this year) putting baby Jesus away last.

Lots of traditions, and I'm sure some are unique to our family, but in all, I enjoy each and every one of them.

TeamCasey
12-26-2006, 02:18 PM
One thing I never learn is too remove the wires and some of the tougher packaging before wrapping.

I silently curse those things while the poor boy is drooling at the new hummer/train/truck/anything with wheels item that I'm wrestling with pliers and screwdriver.

Red Leader
12-26-2006, 02:21 PM
One thing I never learn is too remove the wires and some of the tougher packaging before wrapping.

I silently curse those things while the poor boy is drooling at the new hummer/train/truck/anything with wheels item that I'm wrestling with pliers and screwdriver.

I hate those things. Curse you Mr. silver wire packaging guy!!!!!

With two younger kids, I bet I battled at least 40 presents with those stupid wire ties. I'm surprised that I still have all of my fingers today.