The day after Thanksgiving we always put up our decorations. Every year someone different puts up the angel (this year it's Owen's turn).
I start shopping around August and by Christmas Eve I'm still not done! :-)
On Christmas Eve we let the kids open one gift (usually a puzzle or book) then we go to Kyle's dads house. There we eat, visit and exchange gifts. I try getting home early enough so our kids are awake to put out cookies and milk for Santa but they always fall asleep in the car. :-( This is something that always bugs me. Addison even wants to put carrots on the roof for the reindeer.
Once we get home Kyle and I usually have 100 things to do. Put things together, wrap, clean up, stockings... so by 1am we usually fall asleep!
Christmas morning is so exciting!! I'm usually the one up first trying to wake everyone up! Kyle has told me that I can't wake him up until 6am... Owen has been waking up at 5:00am lately so maybe we can do gifts at 5:30 this year! :-) After we get diapers changed, cups made, video camera ready and explain to the kids what has happened we let them run into the living room. The kids are not allowed to open a gift unless we are watching... they actually do pretty good!
After opening and playing with the toys for awhile we get ready to go to my parents house. We usually make it there around noon and eat around 1pm. After eating we do gifts!!!! It's so fun watching the grandparents faces when the kids open a toy!
*When we were putting up the Christmas tree this year, I asked Addison about Christmas... here is how it went.
Me - What is Christmas?
Addison - Santa's birthday
Me - oh, why do we celebrate Santa's birthday?
Addison - oh no... Jesus' birthday
Me - Who is Jesus?
Addison - he works for Santa in the workshop with those small guys
:-) I think she understands it somewhat better now... it's hard to explain to a 3 year old though!