Much like my previous Ikea-inspired #houserules post, this is the holiday version! Like the regular house rules, some have been around for years and some have changed over that same time. I’m curious which will stay and which will be replaced this year.
- Quirky: get tickets for the movie opening on Christmas Day! (This year the choice is Into the Woods)
- Blip: Be sure to wrap Claire’s birthday gifts in birthday paper. Her big day – 19! – is December 20th.
- Décor: Nutcrackers! Nutcrackers! Nutcrackers! The collection grows with each passing year.
- Necessity: Snow scrapers in the truck. Chemical rock salt shakers in the garage. Squirts (wiper fluid) topped up.
- Music: Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra played LOUDLY, on repeat.
- Friends: Everyone is welcome. The more the merrier!
- FOOD: Egg nog, candy cane ice cream, clementines, mincemeat tarts, hard sauce, iced sugar cookies and hot chocolate with whipped cream must be available at all times.
- Carol: O Holy Night is the one we never tire of hearing or singing.
- Games: Things in a Box and cards are always popular. If asked you must play – and we all do, with enthusiasm.
- Wrapping: kraft paper and butcher string. Every year.
- The big family gathering: Christmas Dinner has been held in the same place for at least 15 years and will happen again this year. There are now 22 around the table: 10 adults and 12 grandkids.
- Twinkle lights: white.
- Binge watch: one television show. Last year we watched an endless marathon of Chuck. This year? Who knows what we’ll be watching, but we’ll watch a lot of it!
- Obsession: NORAD Santa Tracker is turned on December 24 early in the morning and watched ALL DAY LONG until Santa arrives in Newfoundland. Every year. He hits the far eastern shore of Canada then, and only then, it is bedtime.
- Presents: The kids get three gifts each – it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for them! This year they’ve asked for the return of stockings. We have them – I think I’ll fill them.
- Christmas dinner (on the 25th): includes roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, the recently re-titled “Mama dressing”, dirty mashed potatoes, steamed green beans, gravy and ends with a yule log for the kids and a Christmas pudding for me.
- Sleep: as many hours of shut eye as the kids can get – sleep as long as possible. Morning wake up alarms are banned for the duration of Christmas break. My mantra is sleep, sleep, sleep – they don’t know how bad it will be when they simply can’t. Can sleep be stored up? I hope so!
- Tidy: December 26 is tear-down day. The house is put 100% back to normal quickly.
- Shopping: The annual GO Train trip to Toronto to spend gift cards at the Eaton Centre and visit family.
- New Year’s Eve: dinner is, and always will be, Chinese take-out. And Veuve Clicquot.
I don’t know how much we’re going to hope for a white Christmas this year – given that last year our Christmas snow melted sometime in April! I do know that all of my kids are looking forward to the end of exams and a chance to crash for a couple of weeks.
What do you do?