Ever since Jesse and I got married — almost 18 years ago! — we have celebrated Christmas with both sides of our families on Christmas Day. This has meant that we usually don’t do as much with just the five (now 6!) of us.
Last year, our three older kids said they would really love to do an all-day celebration with just our immediate family. So, we put our heads together, and talked about what that would look like.
We ended up creating an All-Day Family Christmas Celebration plan that went so well we all decided we wanted to repeat it again this year! Here’s what we did…
We planned our All-Day Christmas Celebration for the Sunday before Christmas. The week leading up to it, we all planned, bought, and wrapped our gifts we wanted to give to each other, the order of events for the day, plus the menu for the day.
Each of us chose one item for the snack table and one item for Christmas dinner and then we all decided on what we’d have for Christmas breakfast together. We made a few things ahead of time that could be cooked and frozen. (By the way, did you see my post on our Christmas Cookie Baking Night?)
On Saturday evening, we went out and shopped together as a family for all of the groceries we needed for the day. (We were babysitting for Champ, thus the reason you see two car seats in the photo above!) We also stopped by Dollar Tree to purchase our stocking stuffers items for our annual Dollar Tree Stocking Tradition.
Note: Need some encouragement to do Christmas in a way that works best for your family? Read my post For the Mom Who Feels Guilty That She’s Not Doing Elf on the Shelf.
When we got home, we all worked on cooking and baking the items we had chosen to make for the meal and the snack table. Jesse chose to make Bacon Wrapped Dates for his snack table contribution.
With all of us working together, we had everything baked and prepped in about an hour and a half, leaving enough time to finish wrapping presents and getting a few last minute things done for the morning.
Sunday morning, we had a breakfast of Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists, Scrambled Eggs, and Fruit and enjoyed this while we slowly unwrapped gifts, laughed, talked, and just savored the morning and the thoughtfulness that everyone put into their gifts.
Oh, and of course, we all wore our matching jammies (per Kaitlynn’s request!)
It was Kierstyn’s first Christmas and she had the best time! (By the way, as you can see from the gifts under the tree, we keep things simple and only give a few gifts per person. We try to focus on meaningful gifts and quality gifts versus quantity. I know every family is different, but this has worked well for us and our kids.)
(You can read more about how we’ve kept Christmas simple in other years when our kids were younger here.)
After we opened gifts, everyone cleaned up the wrapping paper and the kids spent time playing with and finding homes for their new gifts (Silas got a lot of baseball cards — something he’s really into right now — so a lot of time was spent going through them and organizing them together.)
Then, it was time for the snack table. Kaitlynn had chosen (and made) Chocolate Covered Strawberries, Jesse did the Bacon Wrapped Dates, Kathrynne chose Bean Dip and Chips, Silas wanted store bought cookies, and Jesse suggested we also make the Pickle Cream Cheese and Ham Wraps that his family always does (they are unique but yummy!). I made these and also bought a veggie tray just so that we had a few semi healthy options! 😉
Jesse went and picked up Champ so he could join us for part of the day (his mom was working and she was so kind to say we could watch him while she worked so that he could be part of our Christmas celebration, too!).
We had a few gifts for him and then we took a bunch of pictures of the kids and babies (Jesse had bought these adorable matching outfits for the babies — to protect Champ’s privacy, we don’t share pictures of his face on here, but I wish I could because they were insanely cute!!)
I didn’t get a good picture of dinner, but we had Steak, Rotisserie Chicken in the Instant Pot, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, and Sweet Potato Casserole.
We made enough so that I could freeze the leftovers and we could use them after Christmas when we got back in town from our trip to Kansas. That way, we had a meal waiting for us to eat when we got home and I didn’t have to worry about going to the store for a day!
After dinner, we opened up our stockings and then played games the rest of the evening.
All in all, it was such a special day. And because everyone pitched in and helped out, it was relaxing and simple and memorable — which are the BEST kinds of days!