This was our first Christmas together and we wanted to be sure we got to exchange our gifts at our own place and establish some of our own Julius family traditions.
We started the morning with coffee for John – a must have for him in the morning, especially on a day when he COULD be sleeping in. Once he had his cup o’ joe, we read the story of Christ’s birth from Luke 2 and the visit of the Magi from Matthew 2, to remind us of the reason we celebrate Christmas.
The next tradition was opening our stockings…which weren’t actually IN stockings because the stuff wouldn’t fit, but that’s beside the point. John got much needed socks and toiletries as well as his favorite candy – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and M&M’s. And of course, there was the orange in the bottom too! My stocking also had some toiletries, a scarf John got me, and instead of an orange, I had a lemon (my dad, siblings and I have been eating lemons with seasoning salt since we were kids, so my mom gave up the oranges and starting putting lemons in our stockings).
Now it was time for the gifts. Growing up (and still), my family distributes gifts to everyone and then we take turns opening our gifts. It may take a lot longer, especially as our family has grown from 5 to 7, but it’s worth the extra time to be able to see everyone open all of their gifts.
So, I started first because I had more gifts than John did. I got two CDs – Wow 2010 and the newest Rascal Flatts album, “The Lost Symbol,” Dan Brown’s new book, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on Blu-ray, even though we didn’t yet have a blu-ray player.
John got a new Bible – an NIV Life Application Study Bible – and Bible book tabs to help him locate the books of the Bible (I need to get him a copy of the song one of my AWANA leaders wrote, so he can learn it!). We also opened the gifts we got from John’s grandma who lives in Pennsylvania – some cookbooks (they’re really unique – I love them!), measuring cups and spoons, Santa ornaments, Christmas dishes, and some candy. Now I just need a bigger kitchen to cook and bake in!
Once we finished our Christmas together, it was time to get ready to head over to my parents for breakfast and gifts and his parents for dinner and gifts. John ended up with his blu-ray player, a tool box, a drill bit set, and 2 pairs of pajama pants. I got a black pea coat, a sweater and skirt, fuzzy socks, Up!, 2 pairs of pajamas, and we also got Wii Sports Resort with TWO motion-plus controller attachments.
Even though we got a lot of really great gifts, the best part of the day was spending time with our families and celebrating our first married Christmas.