Christmas Eve we have a tradition we started years ago with my Grandma Alder....breakfast with the Alder family. Nineteen of us gathered bright and early - 7:30 a.m. to meet for breakfast (unfortunately a few had to head off to work so we meet early so no one is left out.) I think it's something we all love to do. It's tradition!
Christmas Eve night we gather with the Chandler's (my mom's family) and exchange gifts and play a fun and lively game of White Elephant gift. Bring a nice $35 gift and leave with a nice $35 gift (hopefully!) The gift can be stolen 2 times before it's frozen. I won a $25 Publix gift card and a $500 gift certificate for $25 at Publix every month for the next 18 months. I think I lucked out on that one. Neal got a cool small indoor remote control helicopter.
Christmas morning we started in our own home. Our tradition is 5 presents - Santa brings one, dad, mom, and the 2 siblings give one. It keeps it simple and not overwhelming. I really like the tradition we started. It makes you think long and hard about what the one gift will be.
Christmas brunch is spent with the Steinhour's. We gather together - all 33+ (10-12 adults and 21+ kids under the ago of 15..give or take a few depending on who's in town). It's actually pretty mellow. The kids get along very well. We exchange a few small presents and just spend time visiting with each other.
Christmas afternoon is spent with Grandma and Grandpa Alder followed by linner with the Chandler's. All 19 of us gather again and exchange gifts.
I love Christmas. I love how it makes people smile. I love how it makes people forgive. I love how the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of Christ (thanks Pres. Monson for that thought.) I really do wish there was a way to bottle up the feelings of Christmas and hand it to people throughout the year to remind them of how wonderful it is.
We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!