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A New Christmas Tradition

December 26, 2009

For us, Christmas is typically insane. To begin with, both of our families are in different Philly suburbs (and we’re not). So we’d hike up I-95, a month after doing it for Thanksgiving, stay with one of our parents, rotating each year, and then basically live in the car. We’d drive to see other family, to see friends, to pick up the last minute items, etc, etc. Christmas day itself was always a ridiculous blur of relatives (the families live 45 minutes apart), food, small talk and presents. Then, we’d pack the car like it was move-in day at college and hike back down I-95, shipping back whatever we couldn’t fit. I’m tired just thinking about it.

Last year, we decided we had had enough. We wanted our kids to have Christmas morning in their own house… to come down their stairs to find presents under their tree. So, we stayed home and did the same this year. Yeah, it still feels a little odd not rushing from place to place. And it is strange not seeing our parents and siblings. But….

The kids woke us around 8am. We opened Santa’s presents, had a snack, played with Santa’s presents and had breakfast. Then we opened all the presents that family had shipped to us and spent the day exploring the new games and toys. We probably had lunch at some point and around four I finally made the kids get out of their pajamas. Kathy cooked a fantastic turkey dinner with stuffing and sweet potatoes, which we ate in the dining room, on the good china (which impressed the kids to no end) and they loved driving sparkling cider out of the grown up glasses. Of course, we called our relatives throughout the day and I’ll send them a DVD of the kids opening their presents. But it was just so much fun for all of us… and dare I say…. relaxing?

Next year, there will be quite a bit of pressure to go north for the new baby’s first Christmas. Doing so would force us go up in 2011 as well so that both sets of grandparents get their turn to host Christmas morning. Personally, I think we should stand our ground and make this our Christmas tradition. It was fantastic!

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