My Grandma and Grandpa Sears held Christmas Eve dinner at their house and my father's 8 brothers and sisters would gather together over spaghetti and the kids would open presents. It was and evening of laughter and fun. My grandmother's tree was festive and she made so many of our wonderful presents. She was a good cook and a wonderful seamstress.
My Nana and, while he was alive, Gaga would host Christmas Day but we opened gifts Christmas Eve after returning from Grandma Sears'. Christmas Eve was the only time my Nana allowed spirits in the house...the adults got a glass of sherry to celebrate. I still have the glasses she used. My Nana always had a box of chocolate covered cherries in her fridge during the holidays and I buy a box every Christmas eating one a day in her memory.
When the kids and I were first on our own after my divorce, we "invented" our own family traditions...no turkey at Christmas. We had steaks. We opened our gifts on Christmas Eve and the stockings were for Christmas morning. The kids started my village which echoed the one my Nana use to have under her Christmas tree in Waterloo. E and I have expanded it from the original four houses on our fire place mantle in St. Louis to this...and we hang the stockings on the front as we no longer have a fireplace.
E and I established our own traditions when he and I married. Each year we take one day and hunt for a couple of new ornaments for our tree. We either go out to dinner or out to lunch. Here are the ornaments we found this year to add to our collection.
We added a new tradition last year at E's suggestion. The Grands have their very own tree and lots of unbreakable decorations for it. We added a puppy ornament for Landon this year, a car ornament for Colvin and the angel topper for Leighton. It has long been E's tradition to give Kristen an angel as his nic-name for her has always been Angel Child. He is passing the angel giving on to Leighton this year.
Tomorrow (or so)I'll post the pictures from another fairly new tradition of my daughter's and mine...the Tarpon Springs Christmas Parade.