Ask anyone, and they will tell you that Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas if they didn't do their traditions.
I am no exception.
In the Ingermanson family (the family I grew up in), we had some very specific traditions. Since my dad was in the Air Force, we didn't really get to see our extended family.
On Christmas Eve, we would read the Nativity story from a little navy-colored book my dad has. It basically was a compilation of the story from all four Gospels.
Ingermansons are very good at procrastination, so we would spend a lot of time on Christmas Eve wrapping presents. My mom bought all the presents we would give each other, so she would give us the presents we were to give and then wrap them. I think I was in my late-20s before I started buying my own gifts to give.
We never had a specific dinner that we ate on Christmas Eve--most years I think it was just something easy to make and eat.
We left a camera out for Santa to use to take a picture of the tree, with all the presents underneath. **SPOILER ALERT** I learned about Santa's true identity after seeing my dad's reflection in the giant window behind the Christmas tree in 1980. And yes, for those counting, I was 10!
Santa only wrapped our smaller presents--but never the big ticket items, which made it fun when we got to come out of our rooms.
We were told we could not, under any circumstances, come out of our bedrooms until 6 AM. It's a good thing there never was a house fire, because we were pretty obedient kids when Santa Claus was around.
At 6:00, and not one second later, we would run out of our rooms, line up in the hall from youngest to oldest, and run down the hall to check out the loot. I think one year I convinced everyone to line up oldest to youngest so I could be first.
My parents got tired of Christmas being over in 13 seconds, so they instituted a rule: Only one person at a time could open presents, and we went from youngest to oldest. This made Christmas present-opening time last a lot longer.
Always save the bows and boxes! They come in handy next year.
We would take our presents into our rooms, lay them out on our beds as artistically as possible, and take a picture of what we got.
Breakfast was always pancakes with blueberry sauce. Mmmm!
We lounged around the rest of the day, and helped prepare dinner.
Dinner was a ham, potatoes, yams, rolls, and other yummy treats!
Darrell and I haven't quite figured out the traditions we celebrate, but we do enjoy being with friends and family.
What are your traditions?