Today is Christmas Eve. The first gift the universe gave to me was a day off of work! Yee ha!
Traditionally, Christmas Eve is a time for our little family to be together. We do our own thing and then get together with the rest of the family on Christmas Day.
Growing up, the Atencio family had its own traditions. We would open one present on Christmas Eve, which was a big tease and lots of fun. We always went to midnight mass so we would stay up and watch A Christmas Carol to pass the time. My dad would guffaw with laughter at the exact same spot every time (when the charity guy comes up to Scrooge and says “Excuse me sir, you don’t know me..” and then Scrooge says, “And nor do I wish to”). If you know my dad, you know that he rarely guffaws at anything. Inevitably, one of us girls would fall asleep before the movie ended and my parents would have to wake us when it was time to get dressed for church. Then we’d pile in the car and head out. It was always freezing and so when we got back, my mom would make hot cocoa and we’d warm up with that and some cookies. Then we’d crash in bed and anxiously await Santa’s arrival.
Here I am with my sister. This was taken Xmas Eve 1994, right before we left for church. I was 18 and she was 20. Don’t you love our shiny purple shirts? No we didn’t dress to match on purpose, we just happened to have the same taste in clothes. We don’t look-alike at all, do we? Although, she looks more babe-a-rific here than I do.
CJ and I have tried to start some Trader family traditions of our own. When we were first married, we would drive around town and look at holiday lights while drinking hot cocoa. When we got Samson, we brought him with us and he got car sick and puked in the back seat. We’ve left him at home ever since. Last year we didn’t go look at lights because Isabella was so little…and we were buried in snow. We won’t make it out this year either. That tradition will have to wait until Isabella is older and can enjoy the light show with us.
Christmas Eve 2010 started out with me making pancakes for everyone. Isabella enjoyed them immensely, as did Samson. Since today is his birthday (he’s 5, can you believe it?), I put a candle in his pancake and we all sang “Happy Birthday!”
Then we all got dressed and headed out to the SAC Museum because they had a couple exhibits CJ wanted to see and we thought it would be a great place to let Munchkin stretch her legs. SAC is pretty much a big hangar of airplanes so there was lots of room to walk and we didn’t have to worry about her breaking anything.
Isabella was really in to the Christmas trees they had there. We liked the planes, she liked the trees. I guess that would be about right for a 1-year-old.
(It kind of looks like I have a bomber jacket on in this picture. I’d like to say I coordinated it that way on purpose, but I didn’t. She was pointing off camera and shouting “TREE!”)
She actually did enjoy running around the hanger under all the big planes. Although, she also enjoyed the garbage can, the utility truck and the signs too so not sure we can say she will grow up to be a pilot just yet. I purposely stood back and let her get ahead of me to show just how tiny she looks under this massive jet. We had a lot of fun there.
Then we came home, had some dinner and started in on the other traditions, like opening one present!
Last year we started a new tradition of taking our family picture wearing Santa hats! CJ and I have had them for years and wear ’em when we go caroling with his old high school friends. CJ’s has a black band, mine is all sparkly and then we got Isabella a “Baby’s First Christmas” hat.
I love the look on Munchkin’s face that says “OMG my parents are so weird…someone help me…” That, or she’s pooping.
Here is this year’s picture:
She’s still not so sure about this whole hat thing. She didn’t really want to sit still for the picture so this was as good a picture as we could get!
Now the little one is sound asleep, dreaming of sugar plums, airplanes and Christmas trees.
In honor of Samson’s birthday, I’ve included some links to albums I have made of him over the years. If you feel like strolling down memory lane with me, take a look!
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