Friday, December 23, 2011

How We Celebrate Christmas

Traditional images of children waking their parents up at 5:00 A.M. and dragging them to the Christmas tree do not happen in our home. First of all, my kids love to sleep in. Before you get jealous, let me hasten to add that the older three sometimes like to whisper until 10:30 P.M.; and the baby likes to wake up and cry for no good reason at intervals during the night.

The second reason that we don't go by traditional early morning tearing into presents is that we are rarely here on Christmas morning. Since we have two other places to be during the season---with my family and with my husband's family---we are often traveling or away from home on the actual day. If we are home Christmas morning, I am usually finishing up food for Christmas dinner so we can leave for one of the grandparents' houses.

Jerrod 2009 Christmas

 Our Christmas morning (even if it is another day or at night) consists of gathering around the tree with Daddy reading Luke 2 or Matthew 1 from the big Bible. Then, the kids open their gifts first; and we open ours last. When it's time to travel, we listen to A Christmas Carol by Focus on the Family Radio Theatre on the car radio.

The most hectic Christmas celebration is at my husband's parents' home. The main reason is there are 8 (soon to be 9) grandchildren all opening gifts from 2 sets of aunts and uncles and their grandparents at once. Trying to sort it all out when they are done requires great skill especially when only one of them has girl toys. We enjoy a Christmas dinner on the years we are there on Christmas day of ham, mashed potatoes and noodles and all the trimmings usually including Mom Self's Dutch Apple Pie. I usually take my Cranberry Salad and a cheesecake. Here's the one I'm taking this year:
Candy Cane Swirl Cheesecake

My parents' house is only slightly more calm since we have only 4 (soon to be 5!) kids there. Christmas dinner, when we are there for it, usually consists of spiral-sliced ham, hash brown casserole and all the trimmings usually including one of Mom Davis' Vanilla Peanut Butter pies in a meringue crust. Eggnog and waldorf salad are family traditions passed down from my dad's family. We usually play games through the day while the kids enjoy their gifts.

Jeffery 2009 Christmas

As I mentioned in our activities post, we like to keep things simple. The kids get so many gifts for Christmas, so I like it best when all these celebrations are spaced out over a week or more. That way we can process all the gifts and find places for them before a new batch comes in! We haven't reached Ann's or Stacy's simplicity yet, but we have cut down on the gifts we personally buy. We try to buy a few quality gifts that will last all year (and beyond) both by not breaking and by being used often.

So that's Christmas for the Selfs! Check out these other blogs to see how they celebrate Christmas:

Judy @ Contented at Home
Joanna @ The LaVans
Jessica @ It's the Little Things


  1. Would you be able to share the peanut butter pie recipe? That sounds wonderful. Thank you, Chris

  2. I honestly have not made it. If I want some, I get it from my mom! :-) However, I will do my best to get her recipe and post it for you.