Christmas Rituals

My own memories of Christmas are very fond ones. I grew up in a large family (my parents have four siblings each) with lots of cousins, and on Christmas Eve everyone met either in my grandparents’ flat or ours. It was always crowded, as well as a lot of coming and going, but I loved the bustle as a kid. Everyone talked, and laughed, and of course ate too much.

My husband’s family celebrated Christmas very differently. It was only him and his parents and everything was quiet and done in a completely different fashion. So, when we celebrated our first Christmas as a family, we had completely contrary feelings on how to deal with everything. Add to the mix that the grandparents all wanted to see their grandchildren on Christmas and things grew hectic.

At first, we tried to appease everyone, but very soon found out this doesn’t work for us—not at all. Our older kid has Asperger’s syndrome and she couldn’t deal with so many people, lots of presents, and everyone waiting for her to play with her new toys. Our younger kid became grouchy the longer the day wore on because he just wanted to play in peace without anyone hovering around him. Both kids were stressed, and that was not what we wanted them to experience. So nowadays we spend Christmas Eve as a quiet day with just the four of us. The kids can open their gifts in the afternoon, and if they don’t want to open everything because it overwhelms them—fine. While I at first missed the bustle and talking, I’m now able to enjoy the time and watch the kids play.

On a side note: They still believe in Santa. Every year, before we place the presents under the Christmas Tree, the kids go upstairs and close their doors. My husband and I will open the front door and greet an imaginary Santa Claus, who will stamp loudly into our living room. The kids put out a plate with self-made cookies for him, so he doesn’t get hungry on his way to the other houses, and of course we’ll make sure the cookies are gone before they come downstairs. They’re always excited about this part of Christmas.

Wishing everyone a peaceful Christmas!

~ Chris

Chris T. Kat

Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

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