Diet Pepsi & Cookies.

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“Santa gets milk at every house- he would probably like some Diet Pepsi at our house. He gets sick of milk.” my lactose hating mom would tell us on Christmas Eve.

We would set out some of Mom’s delicious cookies and a can of Diet Pepsi. When we woke up on Christmas morning, there was always a note from Santa (in very messy hand writing- he had to write with gloves on, you know.). Sometimes there were carrot stumps on the lawn- from the reindeer. And to this day, I think my sisters and I still believe there was an authentic reindeer hoof print just outside Mag’s window- on the roof.

We ALWAYS wait until the 25th to open presents. We open presents one at a time and everyone ooh’s & ahh’s over the gift. We pick an order (Maggie-Katie-Betsy or something) & open gifts until they are gone. THEN- comes stockings! My mom is a stocking artist- each little present is perfect and there is always SO MUCH CANDY! Our stockings are one of our favorite parts of Christmas!

Now that we’re older and not going back to the snow, we’re figuring out new traditions and trying to keep some old ones. Somethings haven’t changed- my mom is still buying way more presents than we deserve. (She is the ultimate gift giver.) She’s still bringing “stockings”- though now they come in the form of gift bags. I’m pretty sure I’ll be up at 5am on Christmas morning. My dad is so excited to come see us- and to see us open our presents!

But we’re doing some different things this year too- like we’re going to the movies on Christmas Day. (Les Mis- so excited!) We’re trying a new restaurant. Our church is doing a service on the Sunday before, so instead of finding a Christmas Eve service like we usually do, we’re skipping it and eating Chinese.

I love traditions- especially Christmas ones. But as my sisters and I planned for our Christmas Eve and Day, it really became more about what was going to maximize our time spent together. Instead of a candle lit service, it ended up being Christmas PJ’s and watching Home Alone.

Christmas means that God sent his son to be Immanuel- God With Us. I think it’s that sentiment of quality time, being together was what we were searching for this Christmas. I hope that these few days will bring us closer than we ever have been!

I leave you with one of our favorite Cannon Family traditions- a song from the Amy Grant Christmas Album. (The best Christmas album ever.) It’s the song we all sang along to in the car, driving through the snow.

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