Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014

(This is our Thanksgiving picture)


What a blessed and wonderful day it was. Aside from the no sleep part the day was very nice. Us Hispanics usually start the celebration on Christmas Eve, which mainly consists of the family gathering under one roof for some bonding with lots of food, alcohol, and dancing. At least that's what my family did when I was young.

I never really believed in Santa from what I remember. Back in the Dominican Republic, before I came to the states, I remember the month of December was a celebration of the birth of Jesus. Family from all over the island gathered to spend time with each other. Then on January 6th we celebrated the Three Kings. I remember putting grass under our beds with some water "for the camels to eat and drink it". Then the Kings would leave us some gifts right under or on the side of the bed. As we joined the American tradition of Christmas the 6th of January was soon forgotten. I don't recall my mom ever making any "special traditions" for Christmas. We would just put up a Christmas tree and got to open gifts on the night of Christmas Eve. 

Now that I have my own family and having my husbands family have many traditions we're trying to figure out what we want to do for our own kids. We make it a point to have our oldest understand the true meaning of Christmas, and I'm glad he understands it well. He stopped believing in Santa a very long time ago, even before he turned five if I recall correctly, so there's been no elf hanging around our house lately. 

So what do we do? 

For the past eight years we've just gone with the flow. If my mom is in town we celebrate Christmas Eve with her and open gifts at night right before we head back home. There have been times we've waited till the next day to open them with her. On Christmas morning we go to MIL's for breakfast, exchanging gifts, movies, and dinner. We usually skip the movie part and head to my moms where my brother and his family and my sisters get together to open gifts. If my mom is not in town we just spend it at MIL's house. This year however we got invited to two houses to celebrate Christmas Eve. We went to both houses and honestly I don't think I'll ever agree to that again. For starters both celebration started after 8pm (I wanted to be home by 9pm). I get it, the point is to party and who parties at 4pm? Next year however if we get invitations for anything past 6pm we will be declining it. I would much rather be home watching movies with my boys and put them to bed at a reasonable time so that we may all be well rested for the next day. 

For Christmas this year I hosted brunch at the MIL's house. All her kids (with the exception of my SIL) and my FIL and his wife were there. As brunch was cooking in the oven the kids opened gifts. After all gifts were opened we ate some delicious food and sat around relaxing. The kids played with their new toys, the husband and I napped on the couch, MIL and her husband cleaned around and organized their foster kids toys, and FIL and his wife left home to prep for Christmas dinner which they were hosting at their house later that day. 

It was perfect. While at the same time I wish that my own family was as organized as my in-laws, wishful dreaming I know but alas I love them either way. Each family have their own traditions and we're just finally getting around to having our own. I look forward to a more organized holiday season next year.

xoxo
Pamela

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