We always go over to a friend's house on Christmas Eve. and have a "Fondue Party" with them and one other family. All of us are Autodesk employees who were relocated to Manchester NH so none of us have family in the area so this makes for a good substitute.
After the fondue party we head home and make sure to watch David Letterman and hear Jay Thomas tell his Lone Ranger story, throw footballs to knock the meatball off the Christmas tree, and then listen to Darlene Love sing "Christmas".
That is the Cristmas Eve tradition at my house as strange as it may sound.
Don't sound strange to me after all you're a memeber of that other elite group.
I feel like I'm still forming holiday traditions but currently the two biggest ones are:
1) Give dad his flashlight of the year. As long as I can remember, my dad has been obsessed with flashlights. So, every year my brother and I try to give him the most unique flashlight we can each find. And the best part? He loves it year after year! This year I've opted for a super indestructible high quality LED flashlight that I'm quite sure he'll be bringing everywhere. =)
2) Spoil the puppy. Last Christmas was our first Christmas with our dog, Yuri (2 1/2 year old Siberian Husky we rescued from a really bad situation in MS). I *might* have gone all out with gifts (like a whole sack full of toys) and even made him wear reindeer antlers, but Yuri is convinced he's a kid and the center of attention so he didn't mind. After he "opens" all his gifts, there are hours and hours of playing to happen! Here's last year's picture from Christmas morning.
Hamburgers and Hot Dogs for Christmas Dinner, we MUST watch A Christmas Story or it is not officially Christmas Eve and the annual trip to The Candy Story in Williamsburg, VA for everyone's various favorite treats!
Bailey's instead of coffee creamer on the office christmas party day. When the boss sees it in the break room, the bottle is empty before 9:30. Doesn't mix well, however with the 4 cheese logs we had this year.
Didn't see this until just now. Our Christmas tradition has always been pretty simple. Mass on Christmas Eve where my daughter and I sing in the choir. My wife joined us this year. We do an hour long program before Mass because so many people show up that early... start practicing for it in September. The crown of the program (which may have been done for the last time this year) is my daughter and I singing "Oh, Holy Night". The choir joins in on the chorus and it always sends chills down my spine.
Christmas morning we get up way too early and open gifts, we make a glorious mess in the living room from wrapping paper, while the cat paws through the piles doing whatever it is that cats do with little bits of paper. Then we have a big breakfast of bacon and eggs. The rest of the day we lounge around in our comfy clothes, no big meal; usually just something premade that we can warm up... or I'll make something in the crock pot and leave it on warn all day.
Oh Holy Night has always been one of my favorite Christmas songs. I still remember a splendid performance of it by a guy down in Silver Dollar City... I was 12 then. lol.
We don't do early (or messes) on Christmas. My husband always says I make the kids wait too long to open their presents, but, I told him they're used to it, so he should just be quiet.
My Mom and Sister come over, so they'll get there in the morning and that's when we'll get started. I typically have a light breakfast out, cinnamon rolls or sausage rolls or something.
Then we have a birthday cake and sing happy birthday to the baby jesus in our nativity scene, and the littlest gets to blow out the candle.
Then the kids hand out everyone's stockings, and we have a good laugh. ~grins~ I stuff everybody's stockings, and pick out some odd stuff and some useful stuff. Weird games from the dollar store (some of them end up being quite fun), miniature bungee cords or superglue, old candy we hadn't seen in years, novelty items. It's a blast.
THEN the presents. But, we clean up as we go along. Paper in the recycling and gift bags folded up for reuse. ;-p Which means, as soon as they're done opening, they've got plenty of room to play with their toys. (okay, it really means that DH and I are both AR lol, but, the kids are used to it.)
I don't have a standard main dish that I cook, preferring to mix it up. This year, I did a turkey breast and a beef roast. I might do ham, or pork fingers or roast pork loin any other time. I'm thinking next year, I might just do my bacon-wrapped meatloaf, you can't go wrong there, can you?
At any rate, we eat sort of early, because my Mom and Sister have other places to visit or jobs to get to, then we spend the rest of the day relaxing and helping the kids with their new toys, and probably watching new movies.
If we've got friends in the neighborhood that are alone on Christmas, we'll invite them down for a meal or an Irish Coffee.