I think I have blogged about this before but hey, I can't really remember yesterday these days so I'll apologize now for repetitive content.
My family has a tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. When I was a kid we would rummage under the tree, shaking boxes and feeling all of the packages to decide which one we wanted to open. We would usually grab the largest or the most promising looking one and excitedly beg to open THAT one. Usually my parents would say no, they would rummage under the tree, and come up with four identically sized gifts for us to open.
I don't think I really caught on until I was about nine years old that the gift was ALWAYS pajamas. Well, one year it was bathrobes I think. And one year it was flannel sheets. But I think that was as we got older.
As I was the oldest, I couldn't really say anything about the pajamas. My sisters hadn't yet caught on. So each year I opened my Christmas pajamas, put them on, and went to bed knowing the fun gifts would be on Christmas day. As a kid, I didn't totally understand the concept of Christmas pajamas, but as I got older I realized it was a neat idea. What better Christmas photos in the morning than excited kids wearing brand new jammies?
Except at one point as we were all old enough to realize the tradition, we did get a little sarcastic about it. We would say things like, "let's hurry up and open our Christmas Eve Pajamas, I mean, Christmas Eve gift". My parents were always good sports and even probably until I was well into my 20's continued to buy us Christmas Eve pajamas. We all had to come to my parents house from our respective apartments but it was usually the one night a year where my sisters and I could all manage to be in the same place at the same time.
So I decided to continue the Christmas tradition with my kids. Each year so far I have bought them Christmas jammies. So far, each year I have been able to convince them to open the gift that I choose from under the tree and they haven't yet caught on.
But this year I think Hayley was rather ripped off. She saw a ton of presents under the tree, shook every one of them, had her eyes on a specific one, and the disappointment in her face was evident when she did rip open the Christmas jammies. And I'm thinking, she is WAY too young to catch on to me!!
I had to convince her that Christmas jammies were the best gift ever. And she asked "well, NOW what do we get to play with tonight?". I felt a little bit bad. So I do think I am going to have to amend my family tradition because I don't know if I have the same resolve my parents had to keep up the charade long enough for my kids to get sarcastic but enjoy it. I'm thinking next year I will give them their jammies but will also have some small toy that they can open as well (again, probably something I choose but they'll think they chose it).
Yes, this year was probably a great learning lesson for me. Carrying on family traditions is definitely nice, but I also think it's ok to adapt those traditions as times change. Sorry Mom and Dad, I love the Christmas jammies tradition but I'm going to modernize it for my spoiled rotten loving children.