IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE-EVE-EVE-EVE-EVE-EVE-EVE-EVE. It’s so close I can almost taste it! In 1 short week my sister Sammy and I will be on a plane headed back home to San Diego for our huge 30-40 person strong Christmas Extravaganza.
Christmas in our family is a little, well, different. Our Christmas is 100% about family, food, and laughing. We have insanely kooky traditions that we’ve been doing for decades and we are always altering the old or adding new ones. It wasn’t until I was in college and I started bringing friends who couldn't get home for Christmas to ours that I learned that ours what the Unicorn of the Christmas world.
The festivities begin on Christmas Eve when everyone begins to descend into whichever city it is being held that year. (This year SAN DIEGO at my home!!!) We head to the nearest Christmas Tree lot and pick up the tallest tree or whatever they have left, strap it to the top of the car, and bring it back. Why wait until Christmas Eve? Well after my brother passed away we all decided it was too difficult to have a tree in the house for any longer than we needed it and my Mom didn't want to bring the ornaments down anymore so we came up with the Crafty Christmas Tree! My Mom is a teacher so she brings all her arts and craft supplies home and we spend the next 2-3 hours spray painting, hot gluing, Popsicle sticking, glittering, and balloon animating our last minute steal. Our tree always looks ridiculous because we stick everything and anything on it but the best part is, when it's over we just drag the entire thing to the curb! No dismantling!
Then we break for the cookie decorating contest. Well...it once was a contest now it's a eat all the dough without getting sick extravaganza. Maybe 20% end up cookies. While what few cookies that actually made it out of the oven are being decorated the Christmas jigsaw puzzled is emptied onto its designated table. From there we move to our Chinese Dinner takeout night and try not to explode from all the eating we do. Finally we lay the stockings by the fireplace with care and listen to my Poppy read the night before Christmas. Then we all argue about what time we will wake up in the morning for presents (if there are any.) “7 I scream!” “10 everyone else proclaims.” We almost always compromise at 8 and I may or may not be guilty of getting everyone up at 7 anyways…I’m a morning person!
The next morning I wake up around 6 and start whispering to my sister, “Are you awake?” When she finally stops threatening me and starts whimpering, then I know it’s time to start texting or setting off subtle alarms to wake the rest of the clan up (like a ninja). The most difficult person to wake up is my Mother, the sleeping beast. When we were growing up there was a rule that no one was allowed to bug Mommy until 9:00am. The only time I ever saw my Dad threaten us was when we said we were going to wake her up. The woman loves to sleep in. But we (ok I) have it down to a science: First I send Dad in with coffee. Next I start throwing Oprah, Steadman, and Baby Kitty (our kitty cats) on her. Finally I sing annoying songs until she has to get up to escape me. (Works every time.)
Then we hang out and exchange gifts, guzzle coffee, and have the world’s most EPIC silly string fight. Everyone gets armed with 2-3 tubes of silly string and it’s war. After the silly string war it’s time for Brunch (more eating) and the rest of the day is spent playing with toys, drawing with chalk in the street, and cooking the GIANT Christmas feast.
Around 4:00 we break out the Christmas piñata. Why a Christmas piñata? WHY NOT!? It’s my second favorite part of the whole entire day! You get to whack the you know what out of something and get all those pent up emotions out. It’s hilarious and it’s just oh so much fun!
Christmas dinner is like Thanksgiving 2.0. We do turkey, mashed potatoes, and all the fixings. We cram everyone into this long mismatched table and we all literally sit on top of each other because there are always SO MANY PEOPLE. My favorite part about our Christmas is that no one really ever knows who is going to show up. We always have friends of friends or second, third, or fourth Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins show up. It's an open door policy! It’s always rowdy and hilarious and the food is always delicious.
Christmas doesn’t end at midnight on the 25th, oh no we normally have a few more days of going to the zoo, to the movies, to the beach, trampoline parks, and exploring! I can’t wait to bring you all home this year to experience Christmas with us. For us Christmas has always been an everyone’s invited, the more the merrier, type of affair. All you need to bring is a sense of humor and a hunger for fun. For me Christmas is all about being with your family and making memories. 7 days left! Get excited we have some crazy things planned! Until tomorrow, #RunSelfieRepeat.