-Christmas season does not start until after Thanksgiving. This is not open for discussion.
-Because I have a fake tree, I shoot for putting it up the weekend after Thanksgiving. If I had a cut tree, I would get it later, so it would still be fresh at Christmas.
-I try to buy a couple new ornaments each year.
-I also try my hand at making a few new ornaments each year.
-We also have chocolate ornaments and candy canes.
VARIOUS SANTA CLAUS LORE
-First, we do Santa. I believed in Santa until I was shamefully old (I think I was in fifth grade), and do you want to know what I think about that? I am so glad that I got to believe in something magical. I remember thinking to myself how great it was that such things could be. Like even when I found out that it wasn't true, I just thought, That was really great.
-Santa fills your stocking, with various fun bobbly things, like bouncy balls and candy and whatnot. Santa Claus is not the bringer of big ticket items.
-Mall Santas are not the real Santa. Santa is a really great guy, and a lot of people really want to meet him, so nice men dress up as Santa so that kids can pretend and feel good, but hardly anyone ever gets to meet The Real Santa, because he's so busy, being magical.
(Somewhat related: I am terrified of strangers in costumes)
-Even if you're a little bit naughty, you'll still get a stocking. People who say that you might get lumps of coal or nothing at all just don't know about The Real Santa. Real Santa would never be so mean, he loves kids, and understands that being a kid is hard, etc. (file this under: don't make promises you don't intend to keep - I don't threaten my kid with things that won't really happen, and while I might yoink dessert, I know perfectly well I'm still giving him a stocking)
-The wrapping paper that Santa uses for your stocking is one that you have never seen before in the gift closet or store or anywhere else. Because only Santa uses it. Magical.
-Sometimes we write letters to Santa. This is sort of dependent on my remembering to do so.
-We don't to actual Advent (because, um, that's not a part of my belief system). But! We totally do an Advent Calendar, more as a COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS OMG BECAUSE CHRISTMAS IS WONDERFUL. For the past two years we've done the LEGO advent calendar, because I'm an indulgent mother. I have a dream where someday I get it together enough to craft my own advent calendar and fill it with little bobbly baubles and such.
-I get gifts for my siblings, parents, nephews, and my aunt Rebecca's kids.
-I sometimes do something home-craft based for grandparents and other outliers.
-I make as many gifts as possible (knitting, making ornaments, etc.)
-Gabriel gets his stocking, a BIG PRESENT, clothes (if he needs clothes), Christmas Jammies (!!!), books and/or art supplies (if he is running low on either), and maybe one or two small things if I feel inspired.
-If Gabriel's grandparents send him money, we go shopping with it, and he gets to choose how it's spent. I have veto power.
-This is the time of year I give to NPR.
-Toys for Tots.
-We have dinner on Christmas Eve at my grandma's (dad's mom) house. There we have dinner and gifts and et cetera with that side of the family.
-Christmas Jammies! You get to open one present before bed on Christmas Eve, and there is a 99.99997% chance that this gift will be your special Christmas Jammies.
-You may not get out of bed until your clock reads 6:00.
-If you get up before your parents, you may only open your stocking until they get up.
-You may not hassle your parents before coffee has been consumed.
-You must remember to say thank you, even if you don't like your gift.
-On my Gabriel-Christmas years, we go up to my parents' house after we've puttered around at our house for long enough. On K's Gabriel-Christmas years, I still go up to my parents' house, only without Gabriel.