I’m so excited to be a part of The Virtual Advent tour.

Kailana from The Written World and Marg from Adventures of an Intrepid Reader are hosting the tour for the fifth year.

Created so kids don’t get all the fun of opening Advent Calendars or boxes and finding something exciting. With that thought the Virtual Advent Tour was born. And now bloggers get to have some fun with the same concept.

Today’s drawers and doors are filled by:

Lexie @ Poisoned Rationality
Natasha @ Maw Books
Carol @ Better is Possible

I know say Christmas is my favorite holiday or saying I love Christmas is unoriginal but it’s true so what can I do.

We go for Christmas in a big way in our family. We decorate the house in a very Griswold way. (If you haven’t see National Lampoon Christmas you really should) and then move to the inside. When we were first married my husband bought a few Christmas houses to start our little Christmastown. 20+ years later it has grown just a bit.

Christmas Village


Also every year we add a nutcracker to our collection and they have become quite the little gang.

Our Nutcracker Gang

But really decorating is only a small part of our celebration. I have been lucky enough to have blended both mine and my husbands families into our Christmas celebration. And it’s no small group. This year we are a total of 15, maybe 16.

But really decorating is only a small part of our celebration. I have been lucky enough to have blended both mine and my husbands families into our Christmas celebration. And it’s no small group. This year we are a total of 15, maybe 16.

We start the day before Christmas Eve with our “Talentless Show”. Any and all are invited and entertain the masses. Hosted by my wonderful husband wearing a jacket won in an auction that was once worn by the great Rose Marie of the Dick Van Dyke show the show is a mix of young and old, talented and not-so-talented, and helped along with a good amount of eggnog our holiday gets under way.  To give an idea of the quality of the entertainment let me describe the highlight of the show, every year. Now this may not translate well but I hope it does. My dear husband does his one-man recreation of every fight scene William Shatner ever had in the Star Trek series. With our family humming the theme song he dives and leaps and even rips his shirt. Here is an idea of what he’s working with.

The degree of talent varies from there but I think that gives you an idea of what the adults have to offer. The children on the other hand are very talented.

The next day, Christmas Eve, the family gathers at my sister’s house to start the official celebration. We have a potluck, buffet style dinner and generally enjoy each others company until it is time to go to church. While those who wish to attend are at the candlelight service at our local church the family who stays at home set out all the gifts. Each family member get a spot and when we all get home the extravaganza begins. We start with the children and so everyone gets a chance to see what the others have gotten they take turns opening gifts-oldest to youngest. After several rounds, when the children just can’t stand it we let them have at it and open with abandon. After the children are all done the adults have their turn.

On Christmas day we spend the mornings with our own little families opening gifts from each other and Santa, having our breakfast, and preparing for the afternoon get together. Many years ago when we first blended the families we were sitting around on Christmas day when someone suggested we play a game. The game we found — A Murder Mystery game. It became tradition to play every year. We dressed up and got way more into it then anybody should. Sadly we grew out of most the game we could find after a few years. So we came up with different games. We’ve played Pictionary, Charades, Family Feud, and several others. This year I’m happy to say we have found a Murder Mystery game to include our entire party. I can’t wait to see what happens.

So, you see you have a mix of traditional and pretty non-traditional. I know it may not be every one’s cup of tea. But hands down my favorite thing about the whole celebration is my whole family is there. I know there are a lot of families out there trying to divide the holiday between two separate families and I’m truly blessed not to have to worry about that. We have also been lucky to include my daughter’s boyfriend the last three years which makes me very hopeful for the future family gathering. As my children get older I hope the appreciate the wealth of family they have during the Christmas. I know I am.

Merry Christmas everyone and a very Happy New Year.

Don’t forget to visit the others on the Virtual Advent tour it is a wonderful way to enjoy the season.