– Christmas Eve – We’ve done the same thing nearly every Christmas Eve for as long as I’ve been alive and I’m so blessed and thrilled to be continuing the tradition with Baby Ruth! Christmas Eve is a restful day typically spent outside (weather permitting). It’s slow-paced and sweet and restful, which you know hits me right where I need it! In the evening, we dress to the absolute 9’s and attend the Christmas Eve service at church. Many of you know, this is the second most bonkers church service of the year! (Only second to obviously the Man coming back to life! Amen!) I’m talking Christmas carols! I’m talking burning candles and melting wax! I’m talking families packed into every seat with glowing baby faces and this glorious spirit of expectation! It’s a total vibe and I live for it! We’re ending this party with an acapella “Silent Night” bathed in the glow of a thousand candles. YAS! For dinner, we come home to hot melty bubbling lasagna that’s been warming in the oven! I’m going to gloss over the Lasagna here, but only because I want to get onto the festivities. But know that the lasagna deserves far more attention. After dinner, we will open family gifts which (spoiler) will be matching Christmas jammies!! We never did this with my family growing up but I’m obsessed with this tradition! I know I didn’t mention it before, but it bears mentioning that Manheim Steamroller will be playing on the record player all the while! IYKYK! -Big Family Christmas – So we’ve talked about it before, but we have this group text called Big Family! It’s all of the Lamberts and spouses, a few very close friends, and uncles and aunts who live in town. The BF group text is raucous and wild and familial and safe! Every Christmas (and I pray for the rest of eternity) we have a Christmas party for Big Family! The meal is absolutely up for debate, one year being an Asian feast, another a breakfast smorgasbord. This year I’m hoping everyone will be up for homemade pasta! But no matter the food, the evening always includes Christmas cookies, singing Christmas carols while mom plays piano, and a gift exchange! As Big Family continues to grow, I’m excited for this tradition to grow as well. 🙂 – Gifts – “Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. Something to do. Something for me. Something for the family!” The 7-gift approach adds some structure that I dearly need, as well as purpose! I love it. No more, no less for us. – Movie on Christmas Day – So we will not be doing this for many years to come as Ruthy is a bit young! But when we were teenagers my family always went to a Christmas Day movie and we LOVED it! This is a great tradition for families with older kids who don’t necessarily have mounds of new Barbies and remote-control cars and Lincoln Logs to play with! – Santa – Hello controversial topic! We get it, we’ve read the studies, we know that Santa is incredibly controversial in a lot of groups. But lol, we’re doing it. For the Christians, it’s important we say, Christmas has never and will never be about Santa to us. Christmas has always been about the birth of Jesus! See above y’all! Acapella Silent Night! For the scientists, we truly have read the studies of the damage children have experienced through parents lying about Santa. We’re so sad that people have experienced this trauma and respect their experience, however we intend to approach Santa with more fun and less seriousness. We are so passionate about fostering imagination and play and silliness and frivolity! We are so excited about playing pretend and imagining with Ruth that a cheery chubby bearded fellow is generously delivering gifts to every kid in the world! We figure, you’d never go to Disney World and tell your child “that’s a person in that Mickey Mouse costume…it’s just a person.” Why would we do that? It’s play! It’s imagination! It’s, dare I say, important! One caveat I will offer, we will have hard boundaries between Santa and Jesus and morality. Sometimes I can admit there is confusion because Santa makes his list and checks it twice to find out which kids have been naughty or nice. Vibes a little manipulative to me. Like all things in life, we’re taking the parts we think are valuable, we’re leaving the parts we don’t find helpful, and we’re doing it all under twinkling Christmas lights! We’d love to hear more about what traditions you’re most committed to, most excited to try out, or most totally horrified by! HA! Join the conversation on Instagram!