As others were sharing I remembered a childhood tradition but I didn't have time to share it at the party so I thought I would share it here. Because it's that good.
Growing up our family had quite a few traditions. Some we loved and some we have been okay letting go of. This one falls in the middle. Our Great Grandma, or Old Old Grandma as we called her, lived in Idaho and so every year she sent presents. She would call our mom early in the fall, ask our ages and sizes, and then drive herself to Sears and buy us clearance underwear... from the women's department. Big, taupe granny panties.
Our family's tradition was to open presents from our out of state family on Christmas Eve and then presents and stockings from our parents on Christmas morning. We all have strong, humorous memories of the anticipation and dread of opening Old Old Grandma's gifts.
We anticipated finding out who got the largest most hideous pair that year, but we dreaded knowing what we were getting. Because it wasn't just a monstrous pair of granny panties that we were receiving. We also received the privilege of returning said underwear to Sears in after-Christmas crowds, getting an in-store credit of $4.95 per child and then trying to figure out what the heck you could buy with $4.95 from Sears. Plus the humiliation of returning huge taupe granny panties.
Needless to say, we were all pleased when Old Old Grandma started sending $5 checks in individually labeled envelopes.
I've thought about hiring someone to send my kids huge taupe granny panties just because the memory is such a fun one, but for now we'll start with new pajamas on Christmas Eve.
This year I wrapped all four sets in one box and included some candy and popcorn and we had a movie night after the kids got changed into their new pj's. We watched White Christmas. It was the kids' first time and I think we'll add that to our tradition.
So, to continue on with the picture tradition (although this year we didn't have a tree).