Growing up we always had our 'in house' family together on Christmas Eve, w/ other members joining us on Christmas Day. After we got married, we went to my parents for the Eve dinner and later that night to MIL. When my father passed away the tradition shifted to my house on the Eve, my in-laws Christmas morning at our house and at my sister and BIL's for Christmas dinner. My in-laws were invited to our Eve dinner but said they wanted to spend it w/ 'family'. My DH was very hurt, all those yrs he thought he was 'family'. We used to do all the holidays here, I have had to stop all but Christmas Eve. It is very tiring, but I will continue to do it as long as I can. I have spent every Eve w/ my mother since I've been on this earth, and I don't want to miss any that we may have together.
I used to decorate like the electric co depended on me to exist. I decorate very simply now. Small table tree, a few special ornaments, mostly from my childhood or from my children, the Nativity I had as a child, a village scene, angels and Santas given to me thru the yrs. I can't afford a lot of gifts, so two per 'child', but something special they want.
I used to cook and bake till I would fall over exhausted. I now make 3 Lasagnas, one for dinner, one for my sister to take home and one for my family for dinner the next couple of nights. My DD makes a salad, some garlic bread. I make a couple of pks of ready to bake cookies, instead of the from scratch cookies I would make. I bought some pumpkin pies from this great bakery and some cheesecakes. I put cd's on of the Christmas music we have enjoyed thru the yrs. My cousin comes over on the Eve and joins in our fun. My DH makes a pot of coffe especially for my mother. She likes his coffee, I don't DO coffee. Our children are w/ us, my sister, my niece and nephews come over. It is very toned down, but the best part is we are all together. That to me IS the most important tradition, one I don't want to see end. We make a toast to those who share our meal and those who have passed on.
My son is planning to move after the New Year, I told him next yr we can do Thanksgiving at his house, he looked panic stricken, then said 'OK, but we'll have pizza'. I said 'OK, extra cheese!' I'm flexible. Things change in your life and w/ that traditions change. It isn't bad, it is life.
God bless. Alice.
I had a friend growing up whose b/d was 12/26. He never had a party for his b/d, just blend it in to Christmas. My brother's younger boy (geezer!) is the wk before Christmas, my younger son (geezer) is 2 wks after Christmas. Growing up they each had their special day recognized. We do parties like that on the Sunday before or after b/d, depending where b/d falls in the wk and who can get there. Now we just do a quiet in house b/d. Each b/d is a speical gift and should be acknowledged. IMHO.
My older nieces and nephews 30+ don't get presents anymore. I still have a bunch of younger ones that receive small gifts. I have many great n's/n's, I just couldn't keep going on like that.
Marlee, how about if gd holds her son, while sitting on 'Santa's' lap and he gets gift from 'Santa'. That would be a cute picture. She might like it, too. Just a thought.