Monday, December 31, 2007

Making Christmas: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

The traditional Younce Christmas Eve consisted of reading the scriptural accounts in both the New Testament and Book of Mormon, followed by the Treasures of Christmas, a homemade child-friendly description of Christmas. My favorite part was poring over the family Christmas pictures in the back. Afterwards we would have dessert on the holiday plates that appeared once a year, and open a few gifts. Sometimes we would watch a movie or play a game until bed time.

Each year Mom and Dad would appoint the time before which we were not allowed to wake them up; it varied. Christmas morning was probably the most fun and magical part of the whole season, and with good reason. When else would we sit around in our jammies as a family, hanging out for several hours, eating, laughing and talking without interruption? Of course the presents helped make it all possible. Stockings were first, followed by the gifts under the tree. Grog and coffee cake were on the dining table. When all the presents had been opened, Dad announced loudly and dramatically, "Well, that's all there is! There are no more presents until next Christmas!" or something like that. Then there would be a pause, a mime, a shocked look into the tree branches. "Wait a minute - what's this?"

THIS would be an envelope with someone's name on it, and inside would be the first clue to a treasure hunt. Sometimes it was for all of us, sometimes just for one, but we all went on the hunt. Usually the clues alternated running us upstairs and downstairs, and ended in a larger gift being found hidden in the bathtub, washing machine, or a high closet shelf. Yeah, it was a good way to "end" Christmas.

This year Christmas was paced for us. We opened a few gifts at home on Dec 23 because we flew to Colorado on the 24th. But I got sick that night and we were in a rush to get packed, so most were left under the tree. Christmas Eve at the Hickmans this year was a nice but quick affair. Ed's sister Natalee typed up a program with scriptures and hymns, but by the end the babies were ready to move on or crash. Christmas day was staggered, with different families arriving at different times. Ed and I did stockings with the girls, then helped his parents with the big breakfast they were preparing for everyone. After breakfast, mid-morning, the fourteen of us that were there opened presents. The other eight opened later in the day or the next day, as they arrived. The rest of the day was hanging out, playing games, watching movies. We were in Colorado for a week but Hazel and I were sick for all but 2 days of it. At least we were able to enjoy Christmas.

And when we got home, there was still a little Christmas waiting for us, to help usher in the new year.

How did your Christmas go this year? What activities or traditions, old or new, did you enjoy?

1 comment:

Maren said...

We did our usual, which was pretty close to the standard Younce way. We also do a treasure hunt at the end, and it's quite fun. It's always something that includes everyone (at least all the kids): one year it was the doll house, then flannel sheets, and this year it was a new (working) DVD player. (Our other one quit the week before Christmas.) The girls are getting pretty quick about it, so next year I need to make it longer.

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