About 10 years ago, we started one of my favorite traditions. Luke’s two brothers and their families gather at our home on Christmas Eve to eat a big feast and let the cousins open gifts from each other. About 4 years ago we pulled some dear friends of ours (the Summers) into our gathering and have a wonderful time, laughing and eating on the Eve of Christmas.
Now my major motivation for this was the fact that my growing up years, I remember waking on Christmas morning, opening presents and then not seeing my mom or grandmom again until time for our Christmas dinner. That might have been okay for them but for me…. I want to play!!!
A tradition that I have kept alive since I was young is putting together a puzzle. My sister, Dawn and I would get these huge puzzles for Christmas each year and spend part of the day in our corners putting them together. I will continue even if none of my children ever catch on to this most relaxing pasttime.
Our biggest surprise this year was that we converted our former school room into a game room for our family. The idea arose after Christmas last year when I saw a 75 pound punching bag and thought that would be really cool to hang in my oldest son’s room for him to drill into when he wanted to releave tension. It then expanded from that into a full room of game fun.
The best thing about this surprise was that we were able to keep it from all 4 of our kids. Not one of them knew what was going on behind the locked door. Our former school room had turned into a junk room that housed everything that needed to find a new home so they never questioned the fact that it stayed locked for so long.
My BFF, Angie came a week before Christmas and helped me clean the room out, organizing and trashing things and helping me plan out the room.
Luke filled the holes in the wall and we painted. With the help of Luke’s family, we were able to get a 100 pound punching bag with speed bag, 3 pairs of boxing gloves, an air hockey table, a Wii and a basketball shooting game for the new game room. At the last minute, we were blessed with a huge tv for free from our friends, the Summers, and able to set up two gaming systems as well as the kid’s computer.
So back to my favorite tradition. We spend the morning opening presents, surprise the kids with their new game room and then eat pancakes and “Funky Grits” (recipe later). We then get to spend the rest of the day playing with the kids and being kids ourselves!