As Thanksgiving comes to a close, Christmas is in full swing! There are other holidays that are celebrated this time of year, but Christmas dominates. I personally only celebrate Christmas, and I basically make it my whole personality for a month. The second I was done eating my turkey dinner, I started listening to classic Christmas songs and watching “Elf.” I don’t know what it is, but the holiday season just makes me so incredibly happy. The fun decorations, the beautiful lights, and the cold weather (sometimes) leaves such a warm feeling in my heart. I love being surrounded by family, celebrating our little Christmas traditions that remind me of my childhood.
To be completely honest, Christmas Eve might be more fun for me than Christmas Day. The day starts off with finishing any wrapping my family hasn’t done yet. Since my mom works on Christmas Eve, my family makes sure everything my mom hasn’t wrapped yet is taken care of before she gets home. Once everything is wrapped, my dad, sister, and I try to figure out what gifts we are opening that night and what we have left to open on Christmas Day. In my family, we open most of our gifts on Christmas Eve with our whole family and finish opening gifts on Christmas morning with just my parents and my sister.
After that, we pack up our car and head over to my nana’s house for an amazing Christmas dinner made from scratch. My nana has made gumbo on Christmas Eve ever since I can remember. If we didn’t have gumbo for dinner on Christmas Eve, I would honestly be a little upset. After dinner is done, we all gather around in a big circle and hand out everyone’s gifts for the evening. Usually Christmas consists of my immediate family, my nana, and a few pairs of aunts and uncles, so we’ve got a lot of presents to go around! We usually let my nana start opening her first gift, then go clockwise around our circle opening presents one by one. As you can probably guess, it takes a while for everyone to open all of their gifts.
It’s not until around midnight when we get done opening gifts and start packing up our cars to head home. Christmas Eve is always a pretty late night in our family, but I think that was my parents way of making sure my sister and I didn’t try to stay up to see Santa! Although we don’t leave cookies and milk out anymore, I can still feel the magic of Christmas in my family. I’ve only recently grown out of the childlike selfishness of wanting to open gifts more than visiting people during Christmas. This year, I am looking forward to seeing my family and catching up with them rather than the presents. You never know what you have until it’s gone, and I don’t want to take my family for granted. Christmas allows me to cherish the time I have with my family, and I hope you can too. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!