Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

12.06.2009

Planning a Christmas Date

A few years ago I described a friend's parents' romantic Christmas Eve ritual. Their tradition, especially the date night component, really resonated in a positive way, but back when I put that post together I'd completely forgotten my grandparents' similar gatherings.

When she and her brothers were little, my friend's parents tried to start the evening like a romantic date instead of diving straight into the frustrating toy assembly. They typically tucked the kids in bed then went downstairs to share snacks and champagne by the tree while exchanging presents with each other. After that Baby Alive and the Star Wars action figures came out of storage. Stockings were stuffed and placed at the foot of each child's bed. They wanted to savor the process not treat it like a chore, and they kept the concept going, too, letting the tradition evolve as the kids grew up.

For a while, my grandparents actually waited until Christmas Eve to decorate the tree so that Mom and her siblings would think Santa did everything. (Hard to imagine anyone having that much restraint today.) They invited their friends without children to "double date," join in the festivities, and help transform the living room into something magical before morning. It was a different era, but it's hard for me to understand how the kids slept through the merriment. Still, I thought maybe the latter ritual could be reinterpreted for single parents and various 21st century family situations.

Click here for more Christmas past.

Image two, Rylan stag ice bucket, courtesy Ralph Lauren. Similar suzani stocking available at B. Viz.

8 comments:

Mrs. Blandings said...

Truly inspirational. Fortunately, this year I don't think anything needs to be assembled. THAT is really tricky after a glass or two of wine.

Style Court said...

Patricia, so true. Now I'm even more curious about how anything got accomplished!

Bailey@ peppermintbliss.com said...

Aww how sweet! This is the last year my fiancee and I will be apart for Christmas, and I am so looking forward to starting our own traditions when we are married, this might have to be one of them!

Style Court said...

Bailey, this would be a fun tradition to make your own.
Best wishes!

Ideezine said...

It tis the season for adding new traditions!
Can't hurt to have a few new things up our sleeves to light things up after this year taken it's toll.

Bette

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

There were five children in our family, and our parents did the same thing... single friends and childless couples were always invited for Christmas - we met many trains coming out of Grand Central to CT. Wonderful for all!

Style Court said...

Dog-Eared -- lovely tradition! Glad you shared that.

Bette -- yes, finding some light at the end of the tunnel :)

Ms. Wis./Each Little World said...

You're right, it's hard to imagine the kids sleeping through the party. But what a lovely idea. (Though I only handle fragile ornaments stone cold sober!)