Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Traditions

For years now, every Christmas we hold a 'Smith Family Tournament'.  At first it started out by playing rounds of Table Hockey (we ARE Michigan'ers and you know how we love our HOCKEY!) but then the almighty Wii was invented and we now play rounds of bowling, golf and most recently archery.

Last year, after years and years of it only being a game dominated by the men winning - I FINALLY WON!  All those countless hours on the Wii had finally paid off. But this year, the trophy was up for grabs again. Who would be the winner???

We decided to hold the tournament this year on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately Nicole and her family couldn't make the trip to MI, so in order to keep things fair they take snap shots of everyone's score and text them to us. Dad tally's up the points and someone is declared the Champion!

 Me getting some Jack lov'n before I take on some bowling...

Kurt playing his turn....

Jason, (aka 'Sparky')....

Cassie in all her Wii awesomeness!

Johnny Bravo giving it a go!

The King of the Castle himself!

But alas...I did NOT win this year. Happily the trophy stayed with the girls though. My sister Nicole rose up from the ashes of previous defeats to not only win this years tournament but to give us all such a horrible beating that she had basically won the game after the second round!  So now I proudly pass on the trophy to my sister and let it happily reside at her home until next year....

After all that, it was time for the kids (and Jon) to open up their Christmas Eve present. This is a tradition that Jon wanted us to carry on and we've been doing so a few years now. He would tell us about when he was a kid and every Christmas Eve, he was allowed to open ONE gift. And how every year, he would be disappointed to find out it was pajamas. And since you know how much we love to basically torture our kids for kicks, we happily have been doing this tradition.

Jason has finally caught on to the fact that it won't be toys he's opening on Christmas Eve and Cassie basically has known this all along. But man, oh man!!!  Poor Jack. He had been bugging and bugging us all day long (actually a few days before this as well) to let him just open ONE present. So when we finally said it was time to open up a gift from Mommy and Daddy, he was SUPER excited!

Here they are, ripping into their jammies...

Cassie trying to console Jack after he opened his present and found out it was ONLY pajama's, while Dad opens his pj's, trying hard not to laugh uncontrollably.

Poor Jack....such a bitter disappointment. 


Cassie and Jason are pretty happy with their pj's. Jack...not so much!


Look at that sad pud-dum there!

Shortly thereafter, I made the kids all get baths so they'd be nice and clean for Santa. They say in the Smith household, that Jack's heart grew 3 sizes during that bath and the magic of the season shined it's face upon Jack! After he got out of the tub, he put his Christmas Eve pajama's on and wait for it......

He decided that he liked his pajama's! He really did!

All the of the kidlet's, in their Christmas Jammie best...

Now our evening festivities begin. Another tradition we do on Christmas Eve is have a picnic while watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. As for what we serve for the picnic, Mom and Dad's traditions are a little different than us Hammies. It's all similar, but it's just small little details that have change over the last few years.

First things first - we ALWAYS have crab legs. That is one tradition that will never change.  Mom and Dad always have Buffalo Wings (I don't really enjoy wings that much, which is why the Hammie's nixed this for our tradition).  Us Hammie's have come to including some sort of mexican dish since Jon's family Xmas tradition was tacos. This year (as well as last year) we made my friend Erin's Famous Bean Dip and I always make Snowman Punch for the kids.

Yummy Snowman was sooooo good!
(BTW - I don't know why it's called that. It looks NOTHING like a Snowman!)
 Our combined Christmas Eve Feast!

So we ate...we drank.... and we were merry!  Cassie went off to her other Grandpa's house with her Dad for their Annual Christmas Party and we all finished off the crab legs, wings and dip while watching Christmas Vacation.

A little fun fact about that - We are not allowed to watch this moving until Xmas Eve. No matter how many times we see it while flipping channels on the TV, no matter how many times a bunch of us get into a movie quote smorgasbord from the movie, it doesn't matter. We are not allowed, under any circumstances to watch this movie. I guess it's makes for bad Christmas joojoo. So you can only imagine how excited we are when we watch this and it's pretty hilarious hearing us quote the movie line for line.

After our movie is over and we clean up our food mess, the kids set out Santa's cookies and milk, brushed their teeth and I tucked them in bed. Another tradition that I started a couple years back was reading them 'The Night Before Christmas'.  The kids settled into bed and hopefully drifted off into an excited slumber while Santa's elves patiently waited for Cassie to get back so they could get to work.

Eventually Cassie came home and after watching a few Christmas movies the grown ups wearily climbed the stairs to their rooms and fell into a fitful sleep, waking up to every bump in the night. Worried it was the kids trying to sneak downstairs to get a peak at the gifts Santa brought or perhaps listening for the sound of 8 tiny reindeer.....

Stay tuned for our next blog - Christmas morning!

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