A Change in Christmas Traditions

When I moved to British Columbia, I left my family behind and started a new one with my husband.  Part of what I also left behind was my family’s Christmas traditions.  Since being here, my husband’s side has accepted me into the family and integrated me into their Christmas traditions.  One of those traditions has been that we always go to the in-laws’ house dark and early on Christmas morning for the gift exchange.

Since Norton has been born, though, I’ve wanted Christmas to be a little different.  I’ve wanted it to be like the amazing Christmases that I grew up with.  Still, though, last year we ended up going to my mother-in-law’s house super early.  This year, though, I’ve decided that it’s not going to work that way anymore.  After all, there’s no way I’m going to want to schlep two kids to Grandma’s house at dark-thirty in the morning.  So, better to start making it the way we want it now.

Usually, on Christmas Eve, we take all of the presents (and there are a ton because I do go crazy about Christmas) over to my in-laws’ house.  We’ll probably still go over there, but no buckets of presents to haul only to turn around and bring back those presents and others the next day after the Christmas festivities are over.

So how will Christmas work this year?  Well, once Norton is safely tucked away in bed, Santa will come and the presents will be waiting for him under the tree when he gets up in the morning.  When he’s up in the morning, the husband will sleepily stagger up the stairs for some coffee, and then we’ll get out the camera.  Pictures will be taken while Norton rips open his presents and delights in his new toys.  After presents?  Breakfast.  I’ll make one of my trademark huge breakfasts.  And then in the afternoon?  That’s when we’ll go to Grandma and Grumpy’s house.

The good news is, I’ve discussed this with my mother-in-law, and she’s fine with it.  When the husband and Eric (my BIL) were little, that’s pretty much what they used to do: morning Christmas at their house, and then an afternoon Christmas event and dinner at another relative’s house.  It’s not exactly like the Christmas traditions of my family, but it’s closer.  And probably as close as we’re going to get.

How do you handle Christmas with your children and family?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. How did you do Christmas in your house?

    • When I was growing up, my grandparents came over to my house. My dad was an only child, and my mother’s parents were gone before I was born. When my sisters got older, grew up, and moved out, they came over, too. I never had to actually leave my house for Christmas until I moved to BC and married the husband.

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