Monday, December 23, 2013

24 Days to Christmas: Days 22-23

Day 22: When do you open presents?
Day 23: Favorite Christmas Eve tradition

As I mentioned yesterday, my family opens most of their presents on Christmas morning. However, most of our holiday traditions revolve around Christmas Eve, which is also my sister's birthday.

For lunch on Christmas Eve, we celebrate my sister's birthday by going to lunch at a Spokane restaurant called Clinkerdagger, that overlooks the falls of the Spokane River. The place is always decorated to the nines during the holidays. Usually we eat so much that we aren't really hungry for dinner. Although we've tried over the years to plan Christmas Eve suppers, our current thinking is that hors d'oeuvres and birthday cake are plenty.

In our family we open one present on Christmas Eve. I know that in some families there are strictures on just what can be opened -- Christmas pyjamas seem to be common -- but we can open anything that is under the tree at that moment. This involves some careful thought and planning... you don't want to choose something disappointing (socks!) because it's your only gift until morning. Especially when we were kids, when we wanted to play with our gifts for a little while before bed, we didn't want to choose something that didn't allow for that.

However, there seems to be an unspoken rule that you can't go for your biggest present, either, or something that is going to be the same as your sister's. So, there are usually only a couple of viable options.

After the presents, we usually read some holiday stories - 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and The Polar Express. Although this is my favorite part of the holiday, in recent years we haven't always done it because my nephews sometimes want to go to bed (!). 

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