Or, y’know whatever holiday you choose to celebrate. <3 Merry everything and happy always!!
We’re not religious, we’re cultural. We celebrate Christmas mostly because the vast majority of our family and friends do, and a lot of the traditions are fun. It’s not that we need the excuse to dote on each other, we just use it anyway. We also aren’t fans of a single nights celebration, or even eight of them. We really prefer to drag the whole thing out over the month of December! Though we don’t let it leak into Thanksgiving territory…we aren’t total heathens. Just a couple of nerds with their own twists on classic Christmas things like gift giving.
It all started because of a tradition that I’m told is a little odd…In Utah it’s very common to allow kids to open one present on Christmas Eve. It’s never really a surprise though, because that present is always pjs. When Wynn and I moved in together we talked about (the lameness of) the tradition. I have this thing about opening boxes. I love it. He has this thing about being able to earn things. We’re both big fans of skepticism. So we combined all of that into a set of Christmas traditions that we both really love and seem to be working out very well.
Every year we get each other some specific presents, and the rules around their exchange are pretty specific:
- An Ornament
- A book (Starting next year)
- A stuffed stocking (no guessing)
- A big present (and 20 questions)
- A bunch of little presents (and the clues)
For ornaments, I didn’t want a bunch of random balls to hang on the tree every year. I wanted ornaments that would mean something. So our first year all we put on our tree were lights and a topper. Every year after that we bought each other a single ornament. We also occasionally get ornaments as gifts from friends, and those go on the tree too. But we never just buy an ornament for the sake of having ornaments.
We exchange the ornaments as soon as the tree is up and both have arrived.
This year I got him a Trash Panda, and he got me a BMO:
I’m also real proud of some of our finds from previous years:
Yes, we still do the pj thing. I still love the idea of going to bed in fresh new PJs the night before Christmas, and it will make for cuter Christmas morning pics once we have kids and start doing those…which I think was one of the main reasons Utah parents started doing that. (Well, that and it’s hard to have 6 kids whining about how they don’t want to wait until morning to open presents)
We exchange Pajamas the night before we celebrate Christmas with each other. We generally spend Christmas Eve night at my mothers, even sleeping there, so we pick another day that we have off together and that is “our” Christmas.
This year I got him a Fallout Onesie, and he got me a team instinct shirt, and pikachu pants <3
There is a meme that’s been going around on Facebook about a tradition in Iceland that I think is far superior to the PJs tradition of Utah. Every Christmas Eve, people get to open a book that they can spend the night reading until they fall asleep. Given how much trouble kids seem to have falling asleep on Christmas Eve thanks to all of the excitement, this seems like a great way to entertain them and help them calm down…and also reading is awesome. Unfortunately I found the meme too late for us to start doing it this year. We’re adding it in next year for sure!
A (Very) Stuffed Stocking
We stuff stockings for each other. In my family stockings are less bags of candy, and more a way to give someone a bunch of little things without having to wrap them all. For example, here are some of the bits from his stocking this year:
Per usual, those are all clickable images if you want to pick one up for yourself….here are some bits from mine:
I actually made his stocking so that it would be all nerdy and special for him. I keep saying I’ll make one for me too, but each year it somehow fails to happen…Here’s his zelda stocking:
It looks fine in pictures, but the material I used is real flimsy, and the shape is weird. One nerdcraft night I’ll probably remake it, and I’ll share a tutorial when I do. For now though, this one is special. I made it the first year we were “really” together. <3
The Big One
We get each other one present that is a bigger deal (though not necessarily more expensive) than the rest, and that present has special rules. We basically play a present version of twenty questions. Here are the rules:
- One question a day
- The question must be yes or no
- You can only guess what it is three times per day, no rollovers
- We start on the first of December, so make sure that the present is picked out by then!
- If you guess it correctly, you get to open it early
The only present eligible for twenty questions is the big one. We used to rotate through presents. Then we got real good at twenty questions, and one year there was nothing left to open on Christmas. That made the whole thing feel very anticlimactic, so now twenty questions can only be played for the big gift.
The Little Gifts
You can still earn your smaller gifts early too! Each present under the tree that is wrapped has a clue written on it. You only get that one clue, but if you figure it out, you can open the present it was written on early. We were worried that would result in not having anything to open on Christmas too, but instead we both got really good at writing riddles for each other. So this only gets us an additional 2-3 presents opened before the big day, and that seems to have worked ok for the past few years.
We did pretty well this year, but still weren’t able to figure out several of the riddles. Here are the ones that made it all the way to Christmas. To see the answer to the riddle, click on the image!
To many live & fairy friends,
A quick swing and an easy boss
A royal girl and the salt of the earth
A cold pint and another one