I'm giving my grandma a break from my incessant interviews. Afterall, it is the holidays. Oh, and I'm sorry about the lack of photos. My photos are on my computer, but I left the power cord back in Texas, but I will add photos later.
I have never really thought of my family as being a family big on tradition, but as you "melt and merge" new families together, you realize all the small things that go into making the holidays wonderful for your family. My family always gathers together on Christmas Eve to listen to Christmas music ushered in by radio personality Delilah. We sit around the Christmas tree and open one special gift. When we were really young we got to open up a set of pajamas, but as we got older we received an ornament. My grandma Mary Ellen usually comes over to take pictures and gives my mom an ornament. Afterwards, my little brother and sister put their homemade gingerbread cookies and Pepsi out for Santa (The Pepsi thing started when my other sister and I were younger because we are lactose intolerant and apparently Santa is too.). They then sprinkle their reindeer food on the front lawn and run off to bed where they pretend to sleep. Everyone else stays up super late trying to cook and get the rest of the presents wrapped. We also set out the presents from Santa creating a picture perfect scene.
Last year, My mom gave me all of the ornaments that I had been given throughout the years to place on my own tree. All the decorations match on my tree, so instead of putting them on my tree, I put them on garland throughout our house. Ben and I decided to take up the old tradition of giving pajamas to each other on Christmas Eve. We really enjoy the pajamas because we stay in our pajamas all day on Christmas.
For the first time last year we had a dinner on Christmas Eve in addition to out Christmas day dinner with all of my mom's side of the family. Everyone came over to our apartment and I hosted our Christmas Eve party. I made bread and fresh Crab chowder with plenty of sides. We ate yummy food and opened presents from each other. This year we are doing something similar with Ben's family. They have their Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve, so we will be going over to my brother and sister in-law's for dinner tonight. I'm still unclear on many of their other traditions, but I will report back with more details later.