12 December 2008

And More Tradition

I can't figure out which verb tense to use in this post, so I'll be using more than one.

Christmas Morning - After waking our parents at 6 am (with the obligatory statements from The Father along the lines of Well, I guess I'll just take a shower and shave and get a few things done before we get started, eliciting cries of protest and pleas from me and my siblings, we'd gather on the stairs (I don't recall what happened the year we lived in a one-story house). We have years and years and years of photos of the four of us looking bushy-haired and unkempt on the stairs. My parents would go downstairs to put on the record of the Bielefelder Kinderchor and to turn on the Christmas lights. Once everything was ready downstairs, we were allowed to dash down and see the tree and our gifts and our bulging stockings.

We open only our stockings before breakfast on Christmas, and there's always an orange in our stockings.

[Note: I spend most of my Christmases at the Marmot House these days, and Marmot Dad is a big believer in stocking stuffers. He heads out a few days before Christmas for some "elf-like behavior" and sometimes really scores with the stocking stuffers. One of the best, in my opinion, was when he bought the little girls a weasel ball, which, inexplicably, they LOVED. They also received a toy refrigerator for Christmas that year and all day I'd hear a muffled wump, wump, wump and ask a passing child, What's that noise?, only to be instructed that it was a weasel ball trapped in a refrigerator, where Madame the Younger liked to store it (but refused to turn off the weasel). And then one year I had a secret wish in my heart for a silicone spatula. I really wanted one, but I hadn't told anyone I wanted one, which is why my joy was so great when I discovered one in my stocking from Marmot Dad.]

Anyway, at my parents' house we open stockings and then go make a big breakfast--scrambled eggs, ambrosia, sausage, cardamom rolls--the works. Only after breakfast do we go back to the presents and open them one by one.

Departing from my own family's traditions for a moment-- What's the deal with the paper crowns people in Britain wear at Christmas? I think I could really be down with a tradition like that.


Nemesis said...

The paper crowns come from the Christmas crackers you pop open at the table. I got a set last year during the after-Christmas sales at World Market for like $2 or something and cannot WAIT to use them during the Christmas Eve dinner. Because nothing says class like a paper crown on your head.

MBC said...

Oooh, good to know.

eliana said...

Same morning at our house, with nearly tears trying to get the parents out of bed. And we all had to be wearing socks which I think was a delay tactic.

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