Growing up, every year for Christmas we'd drove out to my grandparent's house for a few nights. Christmas Eve we'd normally watch a movie, my brother would usually insist on watching A Christmas Story, but my vote would normally be fore It's a Wonderful Life
When we were little we were allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve to tide us over till the next day. Or if Hanukkah overlapped with Christmas we'd open a Hanukkah present from our parents the night before. Since my parents were giving us Hanukkah presents, they didn't give us any actual presents Christmas morning. Instead on Christmas the presents we opened were all from our extended family.
Once Christmas morning came my brother and I were able to open up our stockings as soon as we got out of bed. And then once everyone had gotten out of bed we could open presents. My preferred way of opening presents is taking turns that way you can see whatever one else is opening. More importantly for me, this means every one's undivided attention is on me when I open my presents. I always would try to save all my presents to the end, that way I could keep the suspense as long as possible.
Later on in the afternoon my mom's brother and his family would arrive, or there were a few years when my family and my grandparents would drive to my aunt and uncle's house in San Diego instead. Once we were all together, a new round of present opening begin.
Later one in the day we'd have our holiday dinner. It wasn't the exact same every year, but every year it would be delicious.
Then of course there was dessert. There were a few years where my brother, cousin, and I would open our dessert palace. We'd find out what was being made for dessert, make menus for everyone, and then act as waiters serving dessert plates. This was always a lot of fun for us, and provided some great memories. I know I'll never forget the time the menus I made advertised chocolate mouse instead of chocolate mousse!
I've actually spend Christmas the last two years in Louisiana with the boy's family. But this year we'll both be heading out to California for Christmas. I'm so excited and really looking forward to being able to spend the holiday with my family in about a month!
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