December 4, 2008

[ day #4 - journal your christmas ]

Today's journal entry is about the "perfect" Christmas.

I'm not real sure what a perfect Christmas looks like. I do know that it's not limited to one day - because our Christmas lasts for...days.... :) Last year was a pretty perfect Christmas, I think...

We always start our Christmas on Christmas Eve at my aunt Kim and uncle Mark's house. My aunt's family is Norwegian and they've introduced the Norwegian tradition of Lefse to our family. We all look forward to it every year! After dinner, drinks, and appetizers, we make our way into church. Lefse is a a potato tortilla (not quite - but pretty close) and we eat it with boiled potatoes and fish inside. All those potatoes happen to swell...right during the Christmas Eve Candlelight service. :) Everyone at church teases us because we're full and a little miserable during the service!
The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service at church is always nice. I really like the end of the service when all the lights in the church are turned off, leaving only the candlelight. Of course, seeing people that are home for the holidays is great too.
After the Christmas Eve service, our family comes to our house for more drinks and appetizers and our Heider family gift exchange. We all bring a nice gift with a $50 limit and we play the exchange game (draw a number, pick a gift, it can be stolen 3 times, etc. etc.). Once in a while, it turns out that everyone gets something they want. When we first started it about 8 or so years ago, it was a lot of fun for my cousin Kevin and I to form an alliance (meaning - if needed, I'd steal something that he wanted and vice versa - game would end - and we'd switch!) - apparently the family didn't appreciate that, so we're not allowed to do that anymore.
Melissa and I BEGGED for our family to have the tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve...last year. Just kidding. It was when we were younger...but we wanted to open JUST ONE gift - my Mom always has 3 or 4 for us to open. It's always a fight - but we do get to open a gift, or two, or three on Christmas Eve. Usually, we're all pretty exhausted by then and more than ready for bed. :)
Christmas Morning comes....later and later every year, it seems! :) We used to be up so early, but not so much anymore! Usually, we get up, get some coffee and breakfast, then open stockings then gifts! My Grandma Marcial usually stays with us on Christmas Eve, so she's there as well. On Christmas morning, my family likes to call our relatives in Switzerland. Once we're finished opening presents, it's time to get Christmas dinner ready. The family comes over to our house around 1ish and we usually have a Prime Rib dinner (yum!). We have a low-key Christmas day, dress down, relax, it's so nice! I love it!! Last year, we played Guitar Hero and cards, and probably dominoes.
So - that's it. :) That's our two day Christmas. It's pretty great, I think. Of course - other traditions are watching "White Christmas" while wrapping presents, making Kahlua, getting Starbucks and looking at Christmas lights (I hope we get to do this on Sunday when we're in the Tri-Cities!), setting out the Nativity Scene that my Grandma Jean made about 25 years ago, etc. It's the little things...

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