Ho, ho, ho! Today we’re talking about our family’s Christmas Eve traditions as part of the #MaritimeChristmas Blog Hop. Thanks to Heidi of Itsy Bitsy Haligonians for organizing it!
Grab a handful of those addictive After 8 chocolate mint sticks (mmmm) and prepare to dive into Christmas Eve in the Clarke household …
The thing about getting married is that now you have two family Christmas dinners to attend, and they can’t be at exactly the same time or feelings will be hurt. Since Darling Husband’s family is much, much bigger, we’ve been grateful that my mom is fine having “our” family dinner on Christmas Eve. So that’s how it’s been since we’ve had kids.
(Before kids but AFTER we were married, to be honest, Darling Husband and I still separated for Christmas and went to our childhood homes — just like when we’d been dating and engaged.)
So Christmas Eve now means turkey dinner with my mom, sissy, and now her fiance! (Yayyyyyy weddings!) We’ve had dinner at our house for the past couple of years, although I certainly can’t take credit for the actual meal. That’s all Mom.
I bake to-die-for rolls and a couple of apple pies, but that’s about it. We spend most of the day in the kitchen, but eventually, Mom kicks me and my sister out because she can get it done faster on her own. Then we loll around the living room, likely eating chips and drinking Diet Coke. #score
The dinner itself is always fabulous: turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and giant pools of Mom’s delicious velvety gravy. I heart gravy.
When you work in the airline industry, Christmas is just another (very busy) day at work. Darling Husband worked all through Christmas last year, but this year he’s off Christmas Eve and doesn’t need to leave for work until noon on Christmas Day, so we’re happy for the time we’ll have with him.
Last year, C tagged along with me and Mom and we wound up sitting in the front row. (Ugh, not my favourite place to sit. I’m more of a back-row girl). Mom always has pockets full of those white scotch mints, so those kept us happy for the longggg service.
This year, Darling Husband is around so Mom and I might slip out later on Christmas Eve (sans kids) for Midnight Mass. Still with mints, of course, because I need to be kept happy!
The kids always have matching Christmas PJs, which they open on Christmas Eve as their one “early” gift. In the past I’ve bought them at Gymboree (on super-sale) or Children’s Place, but I’ve made them myself for the past couple of years.
I always make sure to have a couple of sugar cookies reserved for Santa — even if they’re just ones I hastily shoved in the freezer in a baggie, days earlier. We put them out on this $1 plastic Christmas plate along with a glass of milk (which I, um, may pour directly back in the carton once the kids are in bed. “Santa” is lactose intolerant.)
Every Christmas Eve at bedtime, I read “The Night Before Christmas” — and, get this, it’s the 1980 copy I was gifted by a babysitter in like 1985! Shoutout to Tamara from Lower Sackville if you’re reading this.
Here’s me reading it to D on his very first Christmas, when he was six months old. CAN WE TALK ABOUT MY SPECTACULAR BOOBS, PLS? God, I miss breastfeeding sometimes.
I’m already looking forward to all of it! Well, minus the big boobs because I don’t think Santa is bringing me a pair of those. 😉