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Tuesdays With Meli: 10 Holiday Traditions At Our Home

1) We keep it classy at Krystals - When I was a little girl one year the only restaurant we could find open on Christmas Eve was Krystals. It became a tradition and from that night on every year our Christmas Eve dinner is filled with tiny hamburgers and the stacking of boxes. It's pretty much the only time I ever eat there so I can't pass a Krystals without having a tinge of holiday spirit. One year Santa was eating dinner there when we arrived. Hard to top that one.

2) We do new jammies. I know this is hardly unique as so many families share this tradition. My mom did it with me when I was a child and I followed suit with my boys. They know the one gift they can count on is a fresh set of PJs come Christmas Eve. Usually I buy holiday themed matching jammies - this year I changed it up and got them all silly footie pajamas. My oldest is going to be super thrilled with me.

3) We play pictionary. The entire family comes over on Christmas Eve. I'm talking my parents, in-laws, my grandparents, even my sister and brother-in-law. Sometimes my aunts & uncles will join in on the fun too. Two years ago we upgraded from the marker board to the iPad version (which lets you throw it up on your apple TV). It's a game all ages can play and we have a blast every time. "Some of us" are more competitive than others.

4) Christmas books only come out a Christmas time. I'd like to think I'm super inventive but this is another tradition I stole from my mother. She had a box of holiday books that magically came out the same time we assembled our tree. I would look forward to it all year. I do the same thing for my boys. I don't know if they find it quite as magical as I do but I do it just the same. 

5) Indoor snowball fights don't make your fingers hurt.Also we rarely get snow here. We have a fun set of stuffed snowballs that we pull out each holiday season. It's a favorite of my kids to pummel each other with the soft fluffy balls. They have a blast but by the time the presents have been opened I am dying to put them away. I am in a constant state of snowball cleanup this time of year.

6) Blueberry muffins taste like Christmas. I'm not much of a cook but every Christmas morning I do make a batch of blueberry muffins. It just wouldn't feel right without a warm muffin in my hands as I watch the kiddos open their presents.

7) All the boys sleep in one room. Each year on Christmas Eve all my kiddos sleep in the same room. They pile in the beds, some will even sleep on pallets on the floor. They actually really enjoy being together on the night that holds the most excitement. It makes it easy for us to ensure no one is sneaking out for an early peak too. They stay contained until an agreed upon time - both kids and adults always have to compromise - and then come out after I've got set up with my camera & coffee.

8) One family gift for our kiddos. This may change as my kids get older but we give them only one gift from Mom & Dad that is shared between the 4 of them. Currently Santa brings most of the wishlist toys so we chose to try and reign it in a bit this way. Also this way they have to play together. Last year it was a trampoline, this year... well I can't tell you just yet. I hope to do a family trip for our gift when they get older.

9) Chocolate covered pretzels are required. Growing up my mom would always somehow convince me to make batches of these for her to use as gifts. I just can't imagine not having some to munch on throughout the holidays and it's one of those "baking" activities that I can't mess up and the kids can help with too.

10) We remember the real meaning for the season. Every Christmas Eve we go as a family to church. I love singing the carols and getting the celebrate the birth of our Savior. And the final thing we will do on Christmas Eve with the children is have my father or my father-in-law read the Christmas Story from the bible. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement and the presents. This is our way of helping us all to remember what really matters.

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