Also, I need to take classes on decorating Christmas trees. So this "artistic" blurry picture of our tree is sparing you from what it really looks like... onto the traditions!
Christmas Pajamas- Derek's family does Christmas pajamas every year on Christmas Eve, and my family opens one random present every year on Christmas Eve... so we decided to do Christmas pajamas as the Christmas Eve gift! I'm still waiting for the year Derek lets me get all of us matching red and white striped thermal pajamas... but I won't hold my breath.
A New Christmas Tree Ornament- Ornaments can get pretty expensive so we have some normal gold and silver bulbs from the dollar store, but then each year we get one new ornament, that paired with some family members gifting us a new ornament each year, we're slowly building a great collection.
Neighbor Gifts- My family never did neighbor gifts growing up, but it's one that Derek's does. I'm planning on making one incredibly massive batch of fudge and then having them on hand when people stop by to give treats to us. I'm already falling behind and owe gifts to about 3 families.
Cinnamon Rolls- Growing up my family had cinnamon rolls for breakfast every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter... Derek hasn't hated this tradition one bit.
Limited Gifts for the Kids- Growing up I remember being super greedy and selfish about Christmas gifts (or is that every kid?) we've been implementing the something to wear, something to read, something they want, and something they need over the last few years and it's been going really well, and totally simplifies the Christmas gifts.
The Pickle Ornament- We have an ornament shaped like a pickle... on Christmas Eve you hide it in the tree and the first person to find it gets a random gift (bag of candy, small food gift card, iTunes card... etc...) We started doing this when I was in high school and I found it every year... no big deal.
Decorating Sugar Cookies- Everyone has to do this at least once per holiday season right?
Wrapping Paper- I'm pretty sure my OCD self just made this one up a couple years ago, but I like buying one wrapping paper per person. All Jay's gifts are wrapped in green Santa paper... Derek's in red Ho Ho Ho paper, mine in blue with white snowflakes and Em's in multi colored stripes. I'm convinced it makes the distribution on Christmas morning much easier, and it gives variety under the tree.
Opening Gifts One at a Time- growing up we each had our pile and tore through them all in 5 seconds and then Christmas was over. Derek's family opens each present one at a time so we can all see what everyone got and it makes the Christmas morning last longer. I think this is a fun a less chaotic way to do Christmas morning.
Read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve- In middle school I remember suggesting to my family that we should read the Christmas story in the bible. My mom thought it was a great idea and we all got in the living room to do it and then we all realized that none of us knew where it was in the bible... Therefore it was A for effort but never happened. Luckily after taking the New Testament at BYU I know where it is and we've been reading it the last three years!
What fun traditions do you do with your family?