Monday, December 19, 2011

Missionary Kid Monday: Christmas in France

{For more on this series, click here}

When we were all still little kids, my parents decided we were going to do our own thing for Christmas and not celebrate the way the French do. Mainly, my family didn't like the idea of opening gifts on Christmas Eve.

Christmas was always a pretty exciting time. Some years, our grandparents flew out to see us! With suitcases full of goodies to spoil us!! Most years, our supporters back in the States were generous in sending us packages filled with random stuff we missed from America.... like Kool Aid, ranch dressing packets, peanut butter, and Oreos.

In later years there were fewer and fewer packages from the States. And that was okay - we always felt like we had enough presents. My parents support level can wane back and forth and I remember a few years in junior high when my mom fretted that there wasn't enough under the tree.

I think that was when we put an emphasis on making Christmas last for as long as possible. First we opened up our stockings, then we had a hot breakfast, then afterwards we opened the gifts under the tree... one at a time. Nobody started opening a gift until the previous person has finished and we had all oohed and aahed!

This tradition of making the merriment last as long as possible is still going strong in our family.

Do you have any special traditions on Christmas morning?


  1. Similarly, we would try to make the gift opening last as long as possible as kids on Christmas morning. And I always looked forward to a special breakfast of creme puffs my mom made.

  2. Santa comes to our house on Christmas eve so I don't have any Christmas morning traditions. ;)

    But we have been going to see the Christmas lights that people put up around town and when we come home that is when we open presents. This year with eggnog + the record player softly playing in the background.

    And I agree with you though. Each person get to open their present uninterrupted, then after they are completely finished and we ooh and ahh over it, the next person gets to open their present!

    I hope you have an amazing Christmas Morning dear!!

  3. When we were growing up, my grandparents always spent Christmas Eve at our house. It was so special to go wake up my grandpa at 5 in the morning and snuggle with him until my parents woke up, just staring at the tree.

    Even though we don't plan to do "Santa" with our kids, as a child we did celebrate Santa coming. My grandpa would "go to the mall" on Christmas Eve, which meant he went to the basement to get dressed up like Santa, then would come and knock on the upstairs door and give us a quarter. He did this for everyone in the neighborhood. One year, I asked my mom, "Mom why is Santa wearing pap's glasses?" I was about 4 so I don't remember her answer, but I think the cat might have been out of the bag then ;).

    We also had gifts from my parents under the tree upstairs. Then we would eat some breakfast (usually some nut roll, date roll, and other sugary goodness) and then open the presents "from Santa" under the tree downstairs (aka gifts from my grandparents.) Then our parents would finish up lunch while we played. At lunch our aunt and uncle would come and then we'd open up our stockings and gifts from them after lunch. It was a very special time.

    I'm not sure what our new traditions will be as we start our own little family. I sure do miss though being able to wake up on Christmas morning (even in high school) at 5 am and snuggle with my grandpa. Those were the days!

    Hope you have a great Christmas!

  4. Our family had to change our tradition of going over to my Grandmother's house due to her passing a couple years ago. It was a hard transition, but we are making new ones! I feel like family is the tration, everything else is just "stuff".

  5. We also make the merriment last as long as we can. Both kids come down on Christmas eve so we get up Christmas morning and go through stockings first. We do it at the same time but then each one of us shows everybody we got. The gifts are one at a time too. I fix a huge breakfast that always includes monkey bread. I don't do a big dinner. Instead I set out appetizer foods and we munch all day. I started that years ago when the kids were little and I was tired of spending the day in the kitchen and not seeing them play with new toys!