Christmas in my family has pretty much the same for as long as I can remember. It starts off on Christmas Eve, we gather at one of our homes; it used to be my great-grandma’s but recently it has been at my grandparent’s house. Everyone is gathered throughout the entire house; the kids are running and playing in their pajamas, the adults are huddled together talking, and everyone else is getting food or roaming around the house.

My sister and I are normally in the dining room, moving all the furniture and setting a chair in front of our decorated Disney Christmas tree as well as making sure the center of the room was clear. At 9:00 p.m. we get a special visitor, Santa comes bringing gifts for all the kids. The kids gather in the area that my sister and I cleared out and Santa sits in the chair we placed in front of the Christmas tree. The kids take turns going up to see Santa and tell him what they want for Christmas and he gives them each one gift to open before Christmas Day. My sister and I are calling the kids up and handing the gifts to Santa.

Afterwards, my sister, cousin and I start taking the gifts from under the tree and handing them out to everyone. This takes a while and the kids open up the gifts from the family, which contain pretty much clothes. Our family has a rule: clothes on Christmas Eve and toys on Christmas Day. Not long after all the presents are opened and the mess is somewhat cleaned up, that is when everyone starts to head home. After everyone has left, that is when I am sent upstairs to gather the gifts for my immediate family for the next day.

The following morning is my absolute favorite thing about the holidays with my family. Between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. the entire family gets together at my great-aunt and uncle’s house for a breakfast buffet. The kids are speeding through the house in excitement, showing everyone what Santa brought them for Christmas. My aunt and uncle are working vigorously in the kitchen, cooking for our huge family. The french toast casserole is my favorite, but there is also freshly cooked bacon, sausage, potatoes, coffee, orange juice and more mouth watering food.

I’m exhausted when I arrive; after a late night on Christmas Eve and then an early morning, everybody is a little tired; but it’s worth it. Everyone is cheerful and in good spirits, the kids are having fun, and we are all celebrating together.