Out with the old, in with the new

Growing up, my family did the same thing for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day every year. We would attend my grandparents’ annual Christmas Eve party, which always was an evening filled with family, friends, laughs, food and presents. Then my brother and I would wake up on Christmas morning to the piles of presents that Santa had brought for us and our grandparents would come to our house with even more presents and have Christmas dinner with us.

Now that my grandparents are not with us anymore, and I live two hours away from my family who live in Lebanon County, new traditions are being made. For the past couple of years, my fiance and myself would travel to my parents’ house on Christmas Eve and spend the night and part of the morning with them. Last year we went to my brother’s house to open all of our presents together with my nephews too, which we plan to do again this year.

Then we travel one hour to Catawissa, to spend the rest of the day with my fiance’s family. After our second Christmas is complete, we travel another hour home to Williamsport to spend the evening together, for our third Christmas. Lots of traveling between those two days for us, but it’s worth it in order to spend the holiday with both of our families. So, the three Christmases have become our new Christmas tradition over the past three or so years.

This year I also had the pleasure of teaching my 3-year-old nephew, DJ, about Santa Claus. “My Santa Claus doesn’t check his list twice,” he told me. But I told him that he doesn’t have his own personal Santa Claus and that there only is one Santa who visits all the children of the world who celebrate Christmas. And he does indeed check his list twice, to make sure all of the girls and boys are behaving.

I told him about the sleigh, reindeer, elves, Santa’s workshop, Mrs. Claus and how they live at the North Pole.

“Is Mrs. Claus a nice lady?” DJ asked me. I assured him she is. He was very intent on listening and learning all about Santa and how hard his elves work on the presents and how the reindeer fly through the air with Santa in the sleigh on Christmas Eve. I remembered how magical it all seemed to me when I was a child and how by the look on his face, he was getting the same feeling.

All of this came after reading him his “Elf on the Shelf” book. He had many questions about this Santa Claus guy, so I was eager to answer all of his questions, as best as I could.

I love spending time with my nephews – I have three. I don’t get to see them very often and every second that I get to spend with them is very special to me. I also love Christmas – It’s my favorite holiday and time of the year, so I was especially excited when I could share my Christmas stories and information with my nephew.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Reppert is the Lifestyle and Education editor at the Sun-Gazette. She can be reached at jrep pert@sungazette.com.