Establishing Christmas traditions for our family has been a long and ever changing process. When our four children were small, activities centered around the anticipation and excitement associated with opening gifts from Santa on Christmas morning. Our Christmas meal was usually that afternoon and by bedtime, we were all exhausted. Thankfully, as the children got older, our celebration moved to Christmas Eve which made Christmas Day so much more relaxing and spiritual. Now that our children are grown and some have homes with families of their own, we still gather together on Christmas Eve for dinner, a Chinese gift exchange, and a few rounds of our favorite board games. Christmas Day is set aside for quiet family time so that our children and grandchildren can start to establish their own family traditions.
Tonight the house was filled with my parents, our children and our grandchildren. It was a precious and joy-filled evening with lots of laughter, wonderful companionship, great food, and a bit of combat as we wrangled through the Chinese gift exchange. The only thing that would have made it better would have been to have Edward home with us.
Now, the house is quiet and Ron and I are enjoying one another's company. Knowing that the morning will be quiet, lazy, relaxing, and leisurely is such a gift in itself! Later in the day, we will make the rounds to the girls' houses and check out all the goodies that the grandchildren got from Santa. Then tomorrow evening Ron and I will get to come home to a nice, neat, quiet house and enjoy some hot chocolate and a good movie or a book before we hit the sack.
Before we know it, we will be back at work and busy with the normal, hectic day to day routines. But for now, we stop and enjoy the simple pleasure of being with family for the holiday season. Thank goodness for Christmas traditions!