Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, if not my absolute favorite. There's something special about decorating the house and the tree, putting out my Christmas Village and getting an advent calendar for the kids to open.
Ever since my kids were small, I've tried to instill Christmas traditions. For over a decade we would travel to Tucson the week of the holiday and stay with my mom. The past couple of years we've been unable to attend, but we still carry on the same Christmas Eve tradition that we used to do then.
The evening starts out with "make your own pizza". Each person gets an individual sized pizza crust. A plethora of toppings are laid out - sauce and cheeses, mushrooms, olives, green peppers, and pepperoni - and you build your own pizza to your specific tastes.
After the pizzas are baked and eaten, the kids each get to open a gift. I tend to switch it up but lately it's been books or holiday/winter themed pajamas. I started this tradition when they were younger, mostly because they were itching to open the presents under the tree and were too anxious to fall asleep!
Then we head off to look at the Christmas lights. In Tucson, there is an area of town blocked off called Winterhaven. We would typically walk through with the stroller or a wagon, and on occasion we would all pile on to one of the hayrides that travel through the neighborhood. The kids cuddled up in blankets and we would sip on coffee or hot chocolate as we gazed at the lights and displays. Since we've been in San Diego the past couple of years, I found a local neighborhood where most of the houses put up displays, and we do a similar walk through on Christmas Eve. It's nice to get outdoors as a family before heading to bed and waiting for Santa to arrive!
Then it's home to put out cookies and milk for Santa and prep for bedtime, perhaps even a holiday story before lights out.
Wishing you and yours a very merry holiday season!
I love the "make your own pizza" tradition. I'm so down for that. My family and I would also go to our favorite restaurant. Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into your family's traditions. It was great getting to know you better! I look forward to reading your book.