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In our household, we decorate the day after Thanksgiving. We have an artificial tree, and the younger children sort the colored branches while the eldest helps his dad put them on the tree. Every year, we give the kids an ornament, and they put them up the following year. When they move out of the house, we plan to give them their ornaments back, to start their own Christmas trees.
The baby grand piano in the corner was made in 1917, and I just love the sound of the instrument. It belonged to a neighbor who passed away when I was three, and my parents bought it. My father always played the piano, and I took lessons from the time I was five years old. Both the children and I play Christmas carols throughout the season, and my daughter and I can play a duet of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”
We don’t put any presents under our tree, except those that come in the mail from family members. Then on Christmas Eve, my husband and I haul down all the gifts, and the kids wake up to an explosion of presents under the tree. We do stockings first, and when we go to open the presents, someone is elected Santa and passes out the gifts, one at a time so we can all watch one another. It takes a long time, but it makes it more fun to see everyone’s reactions.
Hope everyone enjoys a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!