I See Me! President and Founder Maia Haag explains why a hectic family Christmas is the best of all!
Christmastime is always chaotic in our household. It would help if we would plan ahead a bit more, but somehow that never happens. My husband Allan and I are always running to the store a day or two before Christmas to round out the gifts. We wrap gifts until 1am on Christmas Eve, and then we hide clues around the house for the upcoming treasure hunt for the “big gift.” On Christmas day, our two sons, daughter, dog, 2 cats, Allan and I all squeeze onto the one couch and chair that are by the Christmas tree to start opening gifts. Several hours later, our whole house is a disaster with boxes and paper everywhere.
Why do I love this so much?
There is something so cozy and fun about having our whole family and pets in one room together and watching the kids’ anticipation as they open the gifts.
We open gifts one-by-one (it literally can take hours), and I love watching as family members give hugs to each other in appreciation. When else does our son hug his sister?
The treasure hunt has become an annual tradition. We start with a clue under the tree, and the whole family trapes around the house as more clues are found. Our kids have loved this experience so much that now our oldest son creates his own treasure hunts for the gifts that he gives to his siblings. (Now you get why opening gifts takes so long at our house.)
Traditions are big for our family at Christmas. On Christmas Eve, my husband reads the personalized version of Our Family’s Night Before Christmas on the couch in front of the tree, with our kids flanking him, along with our dog and usually at least one curious cat. I’m the official photographer, and I now have a chronological photo history of this event since our kids were toddlers.
Our kids always find one gift from Santa that he has left on the roof. Allan uses a long rake to get it down, with the kids waiting to see what it is. That particular on-the-roof gift is usually one that can handle bouncing off the driveway. We learned the hard way with an electronics gift one year!
Santa leaves his footprint in ashes around our fireplace, and the kids always find a bell from his sleigh sitting in the ashes. Since we don’t take the time to sweep up the ashes on Christmas morning, and the dog and cats like being in the middle of the action, the circumference of the ashes area grows by mid-morning, creating a major sweeping job.
So, Christmas is more than a bit chaotic at our house. My husband and I bring it on ourselves, and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. I can’t wait to see which of these traditions carry on if our kids have their own families one day.