My family has had some great Christmases over the years and some that weren't so great.
When it was days late from the due date of my third child, we decided it wouldn't be smart to travel to L.A. like we usually did for Christmas, so everyone came to my house. Nine months and several days pregnant, I cooked a turkey dinner and served my grandparents, parents, sister, her hubby and her three kids. I'm sure they all helped though they came on Christmas day, so I'd done the major share of the cooking. (That baby arrived on the 28th.)
One in particular I remember when hubby was overseas and I was living on allotment checks that barely covered our bills and needs. I ordered the kids' Christmas gifts out of a catalog, only a few days before Christmas I was informed by mail that my order had been denied. Oh, my, what was I to do? We were leaving for my parents (where I knew they'd have some gifts) but I had nothing to take with me.
My mom took pity on me and gave me $20 and I managed to buy great gifts for all three kids. (That's back in the day when $20 was a lot of money.) I learned a big lesson from that experience, from then on I started buying, or making, Christmas presents all year long and I never had a disastrous Christmas like that again.
I did a great job of wrapping gifts and hiding them until the big day--or so I thought. After the kids grew up they informed me they always found the presents, unwrapped them and wrapped them back up again.
No one was supposed to open gifts until hubby and were up--so often the kids woke us at 4 or 5 a.m. One year they slept in, disappointing for me because I had to be at work early for a split shift. When I came home, of course they'd already opened their presents and I didn't get to watch. That was also the only Christmas that we ate our dinner in a restaurant because I suppose I was the only one capable of cooking Christmas dinner.
After both my sister and her family and me and most of my family moved to the foothills of the Sierra, we celebrated two Christmases. One with all our families, including grandkids, in our big house. As the family grew bigger, more grandkids, we moved to a recreation hall at a mobile home park where one of my nephews and his family lived.
Then another big switch came when my sis and her whole family moved to Las Vegas. About this time most of my kids decided to have their own Christmas celebrations. What family was left came to our house Christmas Eve for opening presents, and then back on Christmas day for dinner.
We don't decorate a big tree anymore, too much work. It was fun back when I had kids around to help me, but they've all grown up and have their own trees to decorate.
Because Christmas is on Sunday, we're having the dinner at our house after church--but I'm not going to work too hard, I ordered the whole dinner.
Merry Christmas no matter how you celebrate.
How are you celebrating Christmas?