- the christmas pickle (my favorite tradition!!). the christmas pickle is an ornament that's shaped like... well... a pickle. it's an old german (or something) story that ol' saint nick hides the christmas pickle on the tree somewhere when he delivers the goods on christmas eve. whatever eager boy or girl who rushes down the stairs and finds the pickle first gets an extra present (my mom usually just made it a fifteen dollar giftcard somewhere cool. in later years she began tailoring the pickle present to me since i was the only kid who really cared about the pickle in my family). you can buy pickle ornaments at hallmark stores around christmas time. the story comes with it.
- christmas eve presents. every christmas eve everyone gets two presents. this includes mom and dad, grandma, dogs, babies, etc. the first present is a pair of pajamas. the girls match and the boys match but we never match each other. the second present is an ornament, usually commemorating something that individual did, something they got interested in, something representing their personality, or something that was on-sale at dillards that year. this way christmas day is always a parade of matching fleece and the tree gets some new trinkets every year.
- movie marathon. every year since i was in junior high and mallory (my gorgeous, fun-loving sister) was in elementary school, christmas eve has been reserved for one thing, and it's not sleep. mallory and i (now joined by our younger brothers, spencer and zach, and my husband) spend a sleepless night december 24th. on that night we pull out an arsenal of christmas classics that would put bing crosby to shame. the santa claus, a muppet christmas carol (aka the best christmas movie ever made!!!), charlie brown christmas, garfield christmas, rudolph, frosty - the gang's all there. choose your poison on this night, but for older siblings, this is an amazing tradition to encourage. i have some very fond memories of this night and miss christmas without my siblings most for this reason.
those are three of my favorites, but i am always looking for more memories to create with my family. if you have any favorite traditions, i'd love to hear them! merry christmas!!!