Christmas Day at our House

These days Christmas morning starts a lot later than it use to.  In fact we usually have to wake the kids up now that they are all young adults.

But when they were little we use to buy ourselves a few extra minutes of sleep and Santa would leave their stockings outside their bedroom door. When they woke up they could entertain themselves with what was in their stockings for a while and let mom and dad sleep just a bit longer.

Some of the favorite stocking stuffers at our house are new toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shaving cream, socks, makeup and candy.

Clark was a little naughty this year and he got some coal in his stocking.  (At least it tasted good!)

Then it is time for the traditional “on the stairs, ready to run into the living room and see what Santa brought” shot.

Dad is always in charge of handing out the gifts.

Each year I purchase four different types of wrapping paper – one for each child.  That way I don’t even have to put name tags on them if I get a bit lazy.  I know the green paper is  for Clark, the ornament paper belongs to Cali, etc.

Cali looks cute in her new hat.

Tessa was a little confused when she unwrapped her gift from Clark – it was full of toilet paper.

He was just joking with her and pulled another gift out from under the sofa with these cute mittens in it!

Jim got what he wanted for Christmas – tickets to go see Jimmer and the Sacramento Kings play the Blazers thanks to Logan!

There is always a lot of sports themed gifts at our house.

Jim and I don’t usually exchange gifts but this year he cheated.  I am glad he did.  The first gift I unwrapped was a box full of vegetables!

I was excited because I knew exactly what it meant – a new Vitamix so we could make green smoothies.  I’d been wanting one for months!  The timing was perfect as just two nights before I had broken my blender and ended up with pumpkin milkshake all over my ceiling, cabinets and floor!!

After all the gifts are opened there is one more gift.  That gift goes to the person who finds the pickle ornament which is hidden on the tree somewhere.  This year Cali was the winner.

Then we have the traditional photo of the kids in all the wrapping paper.

Then dad is in charge of cleaning up the mess while mom starts breakfast which always consists of breakfast pizza, cinnamon rolls (I use Rhodes frozen cinnamon rolls this time!)and hot chocolate.  I am proud to say I came up with a complete gluten free/dairy free version of this breakfast too for Cali.  I bought a gluten free pie crust and made a quiche using coconut milk and no cheese – just sausage, hash browns and eggs.  Gluten free cinnamon rolls courtesy of Udi’s and Almond Chocolate milk made great hot chocolate.

Since Christmas fell on Sunday this year we all got ready for church after breakfast and enjoyed a lovely Christmas service.  One of the speakers got sick at the last minute so since Jim was conducting the meeting he asked Logan to fill in at the last minute.  Of course he did an amazing job!

After church we headed home and started dinner preparations while the boys watched a few ball games.

Dinner is always prime rib at our house. Since we discovered this time last year that Cali is allergic to red meat I also did a turkey breast for her, there were mashed potatoes, green beans, spinach salad, jello salad, home made rolls and ice cream pie for dessert.  There was coconut milk ice cream for Cali.  There was sparkling cider too.


The boys always do the clean up after dinner and there was a photo shoot of us dressed up in our Christmas/Sunday best.

One thing we started years ago was to take a picture of the child with all of their Christmas gifts. It is a fun thing to look back at over the years.

We spent the rest of the day just hanging out at home, enjoying each other, visiting with the neighbors and playing some games.  That is pretty much how the whole week between Christmas and New Year’s will be.  We’ll see some movies, play some games and just enjoy being together!  I hope you will do the same.

Leigh Anne
Hi – I’m Leigh Anne! I have been a homebased mom for 30 years since my first baby boy was born! I love working with women and helping to inspire them to achieve their goals and dreams while still maintaining motherhood and family as their number one priority. I blog about everything I enjoy – creating treats and meals in my kitchen, spending time in my garden, entertaining and party planning, reading, self improvement and tips and ideas on style and fashion.
Leigh Anne
Leigh Anne

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  1. says

    I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your posts about traditions this holiday season. Great pictures too–thanks! I especially love that your adult kids still act out the nativity! You’re a great mother and inspire me to be a better one. Have a great New Year! I can’t wait to see what you do for New Year’s!

  2. says

    Aw! Looks like you all had a wonderful Christmas! Thank you for sharing your memories for this day with us. It’s awesome that all of your children come back to stay for Christmas. Are they all college students??

  3. kelly says

    first of all i love my vitamix, i know i do not completely utilize it. you can make hot soup, ice cream, etc. we mostly make acai bowls and smoothies.
    second i love all your traditions and that your kids will still do them. just a head’s up, this doesn’t last forever, it is sad when your kids get married and then you have to share them! everything changes. this is probably the last christmas we will all be together. married daughter moving away and son going on a mission, i really treasured this one!

  4. says

    Sounds lovely, Leigh Anne. We pretty much did the same thing on Christmas Day (except for church). Yesterday we drove the kids back to their respective homes and finished it with our date night visit to Chinatown. It’s been a great Christmas topped off with a fresh snowfall this morning.

  5. Nicole says

    I found your blog by accident last week while searching for a recipe, but I just wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed following along with your stories and reading about your holiday traditions. They really have moved me. On paper, we couldn’t be more different. I live on the east coast, in my 30’s, and pregnant with my first child due this spring…but reading all of your stories really has inspired me to become a better wife and mother. I am an only child and lost my mom to cancer when I was very young, so we didn’t really have any “traditions” in my family per se, but I love how your children are all so committed to come together and keep those memories alive. I truly hope that God will bless us with a large family someday, and I hope to look back 27 years from now and have the same memories that you have. Thank you for sharing. Your children are very lucky to have you!

    • says

      Nicole, Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I am so glad you found the blog and your comment meant a lot to me. My daughter was reading it with me and she got a little teary! Please visit often!!

  6. says

    I am going to implement some of these ideas next year…who says we can’t start a new tradition?!

    My mom used to label all the presents. Then one year after getting exasperated with all of the shuffling around and shaking and rattling, she numbered them the next year and she was the only one with the key. After that, she transitioned to not labeling them at all and relying on her memory. Most of them she gets right, but every now and then one of the boys opens up a pack of pink socks!

  7. LaTanya Harper says

    Love your Christmas day traditions!!

    Will you share the gluten free/dairy free quiche you made? I’m also gf/df and always looking for recipes that I can make. Thanks!

  8. barbara says

    Leigh Anne,
    I love your traditions and reading all about your activities! What a fun family you have! I am wondering how you all open presents. Does everyone watch each person unwrap? We do youngest to oldest each year, and everyone watches, but this year it seemed to get really long, so I was thinking of another way. I love how they focus on each thing they open. My kids are 8, 11 and 12 now and really depend on the traditions we have. I can’t seem to get away from them!

    • says

      Dad always hands the gifts out but in no particular order. We do watch each other open though but there may be one person unwrapping as the other person is opening. But we all stop to ooh and aah. When your kids get older and the gifts get more expensive there aren’t as many so it doesn’t take as long :)

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