Family Traditions: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day


It’s the MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!  This time of year just makes me giddy with all the fun and festivities surrounding the season.  I’m always quick to share all the special nights out we have, but I don’t think I’ve ever really shared what we do on December 24th and 25th.  You guys are my people and I thought you’d like to take a peek into our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Because trust me…if I could take a peek into yours, I’d be all over it.  🙂

 Three years ago we started a new family tradition of not traveling over Christmas.  Before that we loaded up ALL the gifts {one year Santa gifted Ebby Lee a big doll house so we even loaded up a U-Haul trailer}, ALL the kiddos, just ALL the things to spend Christmas in Missouri.  I’ve gotta tell you we love being surrounded by family and celebrating Christmas with family was so special, but it was so hard to do coupled with the nine hour drive.

So, three years ago a new tradition was born!

On Christmas Eve, we attend one of the Christmas Eve services at our church.  {We used to attend my aunt’s church service in Missouri with family so we’re just carrying on the tradition in our own church.}  This is my favorite service and seeing all the families together celebrating the REAL reason for the season just makes it even more special.

After the service, we’ll head to downtown McKinney-just minutes away from our church -or a nice Christmas Eve dinner.  You know I love the downtown McKinney area all months of the year, but it’s truly special at Christmastime.

Christmas Day, we wake up to a visit from Santa!

I’ve gotta be honest…Tab and I usually spend this day drinking mountains of coffee because we always procrastinate until the kiddos go to bed on Christmas Eve to get anything from Santa put together.  One year we didn’t go to sleep until 2:00!!  I think that says more about our mechanical skills than anything else.  
We always say if we have a 50/50 shot at getting some piece put on correctly the first time, well…we’re gonna choose the wrong way.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  TIME.  Needless to say, something that might take you guys thirty minutes to throw together easily takes us over an hour.

We have the laziest of mornings, make a big yummy breakfast, and watch A Christmas Story as we play with new toys.

One day of the year-we have zero distractions-just our family spending time together.  And it’s truly magical.  🙂

Typically that late afternoon/evening we finally change out of our pajamas {ha!} to head to Marla’s for dinner and presents with them.

And that’s a look at our Christmas.

What about YOU?!  Does your family have any special traditions you participate in every year on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day?

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

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  1. 12.11.18
    Unknown said:

    so–how does your family in Missouri feel about you missing the holiday…and then even being with Tab's family? We live in Kentucky (where my husband is from) and we drive the nine hours to Kansas City every year. I feel guilty staying home. Is there anything you do with your Missouri family to make up for that time/traditions to make them feel included? Thanks!

  2. 12.11.18
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    I bet y'all are so excited to watch Britt this year!!!!

  3. 12.11.18
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    I really loved this!!! I'm so glad we got a peek into your Christmas-ing!

  4. 12.11.18
    Erika Slaughter said:

    Unknown-are you my Missouri family disguising yourself? hahaha! We try to visit during Thanksgiving so we get to see them sometime during the holiday season, but this year part of them came to us so we didn't see everyone. My Missouri family is super understanding-they think it's important for us to make some family traditions of our own. I'm sure they'd love to have us there, but they get it. My parents usually come down to visit sometime in January/early February and we exchange gifts with them then.

  5. 12.11.18
    Anonymous said:

    I just loved reading this! It is so neat to take a peak inside someone else’s traditions! Your lazy Christmas morning looks pretty much perfect!

  6. 12.11.18
    Kelly S said:

    We always have yummy appetizers on Christmas Eve and then go to the candle light service at church. Then after, we go get hot cocoa and drive around and look at lights. On Christmas morning I make everyone stay in bed, so I can decorate our kitchen table in beautiful candles, and I make a great big awesome breakfast- and we have a fire in the fireplace and enjoy a meal together. Then we read Jesus' birth from our Bible and then… It's awesome.

  7. 12.11.18
    Erika Slaughter said:

    Hi Kelly! That sounds amazing! I’m sure it would mess up your FAMILY tradition a bit but can we come over? Haha!

  8. 12.11.18
    Dustie Day said:

    We started staying home on Christmas as well! It's just too much to travel with kiddos and then when they are tired and just want to play with their toys, it's not worth it anyway! 🙂 Our tradition sounds very similar to yours. We normally travel to my side of the family the weekend before and my husbands side started doing a "game/appetizer" night and this year it's after Christmas, which is perfect!

  9. 12.11.18
    Tanya said:

    I love seeing your traditions. Ours are very similar. We decided when we got married to stay home Christmas morning. I had lots of memories of driving all over the place on Christmas Day to see all the family members, and I wanted more of a cozy feeling for our family. Last year we had an "appetizer" dinner after church on Christmas Eve, and I think that tradition will stick. It was so yummy and easy. Have a wonderful day!

  10. 12.11.18
    Lindsey said:

    I live in Atlanta, and my family all lives in DFW. We used to trade holidays, but just started doing Thanksmus with my family! We spend the week of thanksgiving with them. My mom decorated for Christmas, we open gifts, and always spend a night I’m my hometown, Grapevine, seeing lights and eating on main street. It always kicks our Christmas season off, and I love that it spreads the gifts out. My parents love to visit on New Years and we watch all of the bowl games together! Now, our family enjoys Christmas Eve service at our church, and spending time together. It took so much stress off of us traveling with kids. Thankfully, my parents are so flexible and love the change as well!

  11. 12.11.18
    Steph said:

    My family lives 10 hours away. When we had kids, we decided to do Christmas with my family every 2 years. That way, both set of grand-parents get to spend Christmas with their grand-kids but if I'm being completely honest, I'm dreading loading the car up with all the gifts and luggage! I love the years that we stay home and get to wake up as a family on Christmas morning!

  12. 12.11.18
    Jennie said:

    I love this! Once we had kids, we made it a rule to not do any traveling on Christmas Day. Most of our family is local, but there are always lots of places to go. There is nothing worse than your kids getting up Christmas morning, opening their gifts, and then not being able to play with any of their new toys because they have to put on nice Christmas clothes and go to 3 different family members' houses! LOL

  13. 12.11.18
    Cheri said:

    We use to all live in PA in the same town and so it was easy but now we live in GA and our kids/grands live in PA, NC and TX. Everyone use to go to one house one year, then another house another year (you get the picture) but since there are so many "Littles" and with suitcases, gifts etc: plus time off from work, we, as the parents/grandparents have been told that we need to do the traveling. Last year it was TX and this year it is NC. Depending on whose house we are at what the meals are for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. Generally Christmas Eve is a nice sit down dinner, a Christmas movie or two. Christmas is opening gifts, breakfast pizza and cinnamon rolls, movies and music all day long. The first Die Hard movie was around a Christmas party so we have to watch that and if there are new games those have to be played as well. It is all about the "Littles" and making memories for them.

  14. 12.11.18
    Unknown said:

    Can I borrow someone’s little kids??? We have teenagers and they are boring and sleep u til noon and have no toys to put together or play with!!! Besides that, Merry Christmas Everyone.

  15. 12.13.18
    Andrea - Momfessionals said:

    I laughed so hard about your comment about staying up late on Christmas eve – Dave and I have two things to put together this year and literally every night for the past 2 weeks we've been like, "tonight we're going to put it together" and I can guarantee you we'll leave it until Christmas eve 🙂 hahaha

  16. 12.13.18
    Kimberly said:

    We’ve started staying home the past few years ourselves on Christmas Day. Before that we did THREE Christmases in one day 🤪 our own and then each of our families. It wasn’t bad with 2 kids but when we went to 4 kids and then added a niece and nephew it got to be too much. The kids were so burnt out by the end of the day and we were literally unwrapping gifts, loading up, and heading to the next festivities. Now the only traveling we do on Christmas Day is if and when my stepdaughter needs to be transported around. No matter how many Christmases we have in a day though I still am always up super late wrapping or setting out Santa gifts so I feel your pain in that one!