On the eleventh day of Blogmas, Leeann's blog gave to me...Christmas Eve traditions Christmas Eve.
No matter where my family is for the holiday season is, Christmas Eve is my favorite part of the festivities. Everyone pulls on their best holiday outfits and we eat until we can eat no more. When we're in Indy, that's seafood chowder full of every shellfish you can name with oyster crackers on the side. In West Virginia, that's french fries and oysters and ham and cookies and root beer and trail mix and crackers...
Spending time with family is the most important part of the evening. With my mom's side, we initially all eat an early dinner before dressing in our best and heading to church for the Christmas Eve service. Afterwards, we all gather around in my grandparents' sun porch by the tree and open our presents to each other while snacking and drinking sweet tea or water. We laugh about the stories behind each other's gifts and shout "thank you!" all around the room. Afterwards we look at our new things and show them off to each other, the "kids" (okay, we're teens/young adults now) running off to play with Leighton's game or flip through Caroline's book. Slowly, everyone drifts out the porch door with bags of goodies, wrapped in wool coats and plaid scarves. Piling into their trucks and SUVs, everyone drives off until it's just my family and my grandparents. We settle down in front of White Christmas and wait for Santa Claus to come.
With my dad's side, we dig in to steaming hot bowls of seafood chowder and oyster crackers while talking about school or work or simply what we did that day. After eating seconds and thirds, we gather into the living room to drink coffee or hot chocolate. After circling up, someone, usually one of the "kids," passes around the gifts to each person until we each have a stack of boxes and bags next to us. One by one, we go around the circle and open each gift, thanking the person for the present and showing it to the rest of the family. Everyone ooos and ahhs until each present is open. Then gifts are further explored: books are flipped through, clothes held up, CDs unwrapped and examined. Then, one by one, each family slips through the front door to the bite outside, waving goodnight with promises to see each other in the morning, decked in Christmas gifts and red, ready for turkey and mashed potatoes.
Christmas Eve is important to my family; it's the tradition we value most. Whether there's snow gently falling on the tips of the brown grass or rain dripping from the window panes, the night before Christmas always results with a "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight."
On the eleventh day of Blogmas, Leeann's blog gave to me:
Christmas Eve traditions, a Christmas travel story, six final to-reads, decked halls a-twinkling, a Christmas tag of sorts, two Christmas book reads, FIVEEEE FESTIVE MOVIES! Memories filled with snow, one blog tag, the best study tips, and 10 Christmas songs to sing!