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When my girls were little, we told them they got 3 gifts, because Jesus got 3 gifts from the wise men. They could open 1 on Christmas Eve- it was always pjs or a nightgown, usually home-sewn and matching. Then they got 1 gift from Santa that was unwrapped under the tree Christmas morning so if they were up before us, there was something to play with until we got up! We told them it was just 1 because he had so many children to give to, he didn't want to run out! We also did stockings with practical, fun, personal stuff in them. (chapstick, bandaids, toothbrush, hair stuff, and always a packet of hot cocoa and a piece of chocolate!) I also give them an ornament each year. Lately these are totally green, usually homemade from something found outside, such as pinecones or seedpods jazzed up a little.
Now that they're growing up/grown up, we are together for Thanksgiving weekend- Thursday is Thanksgiving, Norman Rockwell style with all the fixings, homemade and healthy! Then Friday morning the men sleep in and the women go shopping (definitely more looking/laughing than buying!). Then Friday night we put up the Christmas tree and decorate it. Then Saturday morning I get up early and make Christmas morning breakfast on our Christmas dishes. (Breakfast casserole, homemade cinnamon rolls, bacon, eggs, juice, Santa's White Christmas coffee, juice for the little ones and eggnog) Then we all open presents from each other. It is so special to be able to see everyone opening their presents together! We buy small, personal gifts for each one throughout the year (used is fine!) or make things. Then I send the married ones home with their stockings filled so they have something from me on actual Christmas! It is also such a relief to have that done early while others are frantically shopping. And if the gift is holiday-related, they have all December to use/enjoy it!
I love this weekend, my family and the memories we make!
Oh, and we always take our family picture, which I use as my Christmas card!
__________________ ~Mary~"Marmee" to Tiffany(29, married to Bill. Mommy to Karabeth- born 8/07), Christina(26), Heather(24, married to Bryce. Mommy to BE, born 3/09, Conlan, born 9/10 and a girl due 7/13), Ashlee(21, married to Matt, Mommy to Gunner, born 8/12), & Rebecca Joy(15)