I am a firm believer in always always always being a kid at heart. Peter Pan definitely knew what he was talking about in regards to that whole "growing up" thing. It's way overrated. Particularly at Christmastime.
Enjoying the magic and innocence of Christmas through the eyes of a child is the only way to truly celebrate the season. I fee like this is where I should insert "in my opinion" except it's not just in my opinion. It's a fact. Kids have more fun at Christmas. Therefore, adults who act like kids have more fun at Christmas. That's called the commutative property (I think).
I've mentioned once or twice, or maybe twenty times, how obsessed I am with my family's Christmas traditions. Not because they're super unique or way over the top. Just because they're ours. My parents always did a really good job (and still do) of making holidays special. Birthdays, Halloween, Easter. It was always a special event in our house. Christmas was no exception. I have nothing but fond memories of my childhood and feel so so fortunate for that.
Every year we would visit Santa's house downtown. In fact, we only stopped doing this a couple of years ago. Santa holds an extra special place in our heart, you see. Sure he brought great gifts every year. But when I was four and a half, he brought me my baby brother. Just like I had so politely asked him for the previous year. No joke. In 1992 I wanted a baby brother for Christmas. Carter came in November 1993. If that doesn't make you believe, I don't know what will.
As always I am being very matter of fact with Mr. Claus. Carter thinks it's all fun and games. I, obviously, mean business.
Please excuse the "at-home" cut bangs. Dear future-mommy-Marianna, do not under any circumstances cut your daughter's hair.
On Christmas Eve we always got to open just one present. Coincidentally is was always new jammies. Usually they're extremely hot and uncomfortable and only get worn that one night. But it's a tradition we've held onto for years. Acting surprised over our Christmas Eve jammies is also a tradition my brother and I have continued to hold on to.
After we changed into our new jams, we would all crawl in bed together and mom would read the original 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, the same book my mom read when she was a little girl.
We always made a pact that we wouldn't peak at Christmas presents until everyone was awake. So on Christmas morning the first to wake up (
usually always my brother) would be in charge of waking everyone else up. And together we would go into the living room to check out our loot. Our Santa never wrapped our presents. We each had designated areas on the couch. And we would spend the entire morning oohing and aahing over our gifts before chowing down on an enormous Christmas breakfast and then heading to grandma's for some cousin fun.
Growing up with a brother definitely made the holidays more fun. I couldn't have imagined Christmas mornings without him. And still look so forward to spending the holidays with him. I'm even more blessed that Robbie gets to join in on the fun too. As fun as all the Santa visits, Christmas Eve jammies, and new gifts are, my favorite part of Christmas has and always will be the time I spend with my family. I know that sounds hokey but it's the truth. Going back to my mom's house (the same house I grew up in) and sitting around the tree that's loaded down with all of our childhood ornaments surrounded by the family I love (both old and new) is as good as it gets. And definitely makes me feel like a giddy little kid all over again.