Unique Christmas Eve Tradition

Merry Christmas Eve to all!

Growing up, we got to open one present on Christmas Eve.

It was very, very, very EXCITING.

All those presents under the tree and we waited in eager anticipation to get to open ONE present early!

I decided to carry on the same tradition with my kids because I remember it so vividly.

I have also come to find out that it isn’t all that unique and I’ve met many people who have the same darn tradition.

I’m guessing many mothers discovered what my mother discovered in the early years with toddlers.

We might have looked a little ratty – I appear to have outgrown my pajamas (unless they were capris).

But let’s be real – who looks great when they pop out of bed at 6:00 am to see what Santa brought them?

But mothers across the land decided the kids photograph better in NEW matching pajamas!!

Ahem. Sort of.

I’m pretty sure we weren’t allowed to come downstairs until Mom fixed our hair too. I think everyone will agree that part of the reason I am the way I am today is because of the childhood trauma of my mother pulling my hair back, exposing my forehead, with no bangs. Hello?!

As we got older, I think it got harder to make us look decent for pictures. We have evidence (that appears to have been tampered with) to prove it. But she still tried.

Bless her heart.

Side note: My youngest sister is not special needs. I think she is the one who tampered with our matching pajama Christmas Eve evidence tradition. She may have creased the above photo trying to destroy the picture.

I think we were not cooperating for the pajama photo shoot. I sense some holiday tension. Those *smiles* don’t look genuine.

Probably got in trouble for making the youngest laugh…I’ll get back to you on that because luckily, my mother will remember in excruciating detail what happened that Christmas Eve as soon as she reads this.

But in spite of the trauma of no bangs and feathered bangs and all the years in between, I continued this adorable tradition with my own children…

Imagine how excited I was when Grandma sent matching Red Flannel pajamas from Cedar Springs, Michigan for the darling twins first Christmas just like the ones we wore back in the 70’s!

Whoa! Check out that startled bug-eyed look Roger Leroy is sporting. Unfortunately it’s genetic. Yet another thing I blame thank my mother for.

Or maybe it was the granny cap pinching her tiny head?

Or maybe not.

Yeah, so the bug-eyed thing is genetic. There’s no denying it…

Scary Baby asked me yesterday if everyone could open ONE present on Christmas Eve.

I immediately said:


She countered with:

Can it please NOT be pajamas?

Such a silly child – we’re not breaking tradition here!

In honor of Grandma, those new p.j.s are in the warsh right now! 😉

How many of you have this tradition? Or do you have a truly unique tradition to share?

Wishing you all a very happy holiday with your loved ones,


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  1. 1
    Ann says:

    Still LOL trying not to wake up the household while looking at the pics of you and the sibs!!! Our tradition when I was a kid was that we got to open the gifts given by siblings…so my 2 brothers and I each got to open 2 gifts on Christmas Eve. Now, my husband, kids and I go to my parents’ house on Christmas Eve and gather with my 2 brothers and their families and we all open gifts from one another. The kids open first and they open gifts one at a time from youngest to oldest. We usually take a break for dinner (great food but not a fancy dinner) and then it’s the adults’ turn to open, again, one at a time youngest to oldest. The ‘must do’ tradition at my mom and dad’s house is that the kids HAVE to be measured. Again this is done youngest to oldest. Grandma has to stand on a chair to accurately measure all but 2 of the 9 grandkids! She marks their name, height, and current year on a board that’s permanently attached to the wall in the kitchen.

  2. 2
    Leigh Anne says:

    My children will be opening their “Coordinating” pajamas tonight!! Santa’s elves actually drop them by early on Christmas Eve and ding dong ditch us!! Yes, even though my children are young adults and teenagers we still do it!!

  3. 3
    julieann says:

    How did I grow up in the Midwest and not get the pajamas thing? Perhaps I am the slow learner that your younger sister is not. For Christmas Eve traditions after church, we have nine red-ribboned nails that each represent a prophecy of the coming Messiah. The three children (teens now) each read three prophecies in turn and hang their nails on the tree. Afterwards we are allowed to open the gifts sent by extended family. I think the anticipation of the guilty pleasure of opening gifts early allows them to sit through the evening’s worship service all decked out in their Christmas finery (and by that I’m not referring to new pj’s!).

  4. 4
    Joanne says:

    We too had the new pjs on Christmas night tradition. Now my children have it but they are given by my parents. It’s always been my mother’s “thing.” Earlier today I mentioned Grandmom and Pop coming over and my daugter(5) asked why. Her older brother (7 and very wise) said “To give us our Christmas Pajamas and ornaments!” (He couldn’t believe she didn’t know!) My 16 year old nephew was insulted when someone mentioned he might be too old for this particular tradition and his girlfriend asked how long they had to date before she was considered “family” and could get her own PJs! I will tell you they don’t match. Our very introverted (HA!) little girl stripped right in the kitchen and put on her PJs then kept poking her head in every 5 minutes to ask “Who wants to see my new pajamas? TADA” She told us she was pinkalicious! I LOVE Christmas Eve!