Each if these families has been kind enough to donate their home and time to this event as well as share some of their holiday traditions.
Allison & Matt McClure
2730 NW 82ND PLACE
The day after Thanksgiving all three of our kids go with their Grammie and Papa to pick out a real Christmas tree.
On Christmas Eve our kids love making the traditional Norwegian food, Lefse. We then spend the day playing games, watching movies, and relaxing. Everyone then gets a present to open that consist of pajamas, a Christmas book, and a new movie for the family. Before everyone heads to bed, we sit out a Coke and cookies for Santa, plus we sprinkle reindeer food in our front yard to make sure the reindeer can find our home.
On Christmas morning our kids love to wake up when the sun comes up! We start by opening stockings and all the gifts that Santa brought the night before. After all of the presents are open, we begin to cook a homemade breakfast. Our Christmas morning breakfast usually consists of all the kids favorites: pancakes, bacon, and eggs.
The morning after Christmas, the girls head out to do a little after Christmas sale shopping!
Jessica & Jeff Marcantel
2802 SW 18TH STREET
We have a couple of Christmas Traditions in the Marcantel household! The first would be our Christmas tree, which in years past has just been one tree so the family is loving the multiple tree situation we have now! Every year we all take the day to listen to music in our pjs and decorate the tree. Our daughter, Maddie, is always in charge of placement of the ornaments and which ones will make it onto the tree. This day is always so much fun, the house becomes a complete mess but these are the days that you remember!
Another happens on Christmas Eve as that is when Maddie is allowed to open only one of her gifts. Each year this is a pair of new Christmas pjs and a book. This is always a highlight of the evening as she always knows what she is getting however she still lights up even at 10 years old with pure excitement over the most simple of gifts.
Toyna & Brian Miller
2309 SW 22ND STREET
Merry Christmas and welcome to our home! Rejoice! A Savior is born!
As you enter, we have a number of Christmas trees throughout our home, each representing the beauty and joy of Christmas. Decorating the trees as a family, and showcasing our favorite Christmas ornaments is something we enjoy doing as a family each year.
We have a pile of Christmas books by the fireplace and on the bookshelves in the kids’ rooms. Each night during the Christmas season, we snuggle in our pj’s and read our favorite Christmas books together. You may also find us dancing by the fireplace to Christmas music after dinnertime.
You will notice a playful tradition of Lego Advent calendars, and a Lego train going around our downstairs Christmas tree. A snowy Lego Christmas city is also seen in the downstairs playroom, a fun tradition we like to work on all year long.
We also share a tradition of baking sugar cookies from a dear beloved Grandmother’s cookbook and decorating them with her favorite frosting.
Our absolute favorite tradition is reading the Christmas story and placing a paper ornament on a little tree, each representing a part of Jesus’ birth story. On Christmas Eve, we attend a Christmas Eve church service, followed by a chili soup dinner. The kids also get to open one gift from under the tree, receiving new pajamas and a new book. On Christmas morning, we spend a special time as a family of four, opening gifts and having Christmas brunch. We then have tradition of traveling across the metro to a Grandparents’ house to continue the Christmas celebrations with family.
Thank you for enjoying our traditions right alongside us! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
8464 NW 31ST COURT
Heather & Mike Hale
2602 NE BELLAGIO DRIVE
My granny alway said “It doesnt matter what day Christmas is , it’s Christmas when we all can be together . “ With that idea in mind, we didn’t necessarily celebrate on Christmas Day or even Christmas Eve depending on our families schedule, resulting in the lack of any “true” traditions other than amazing food and games when we all got together . I have tried to uphold that same thought of great food and fun for our holidays whether we are in sunny Florida or Colorado or Ankeny for the holidays and now I like to add fun holiday pajamas to the mix for our immediate family.
Britni & Rick Sabala
5307 NW 12TH STREET
Christmas is a favorite here! We are like really into Christmas. We love celebrating first and foremost that Jesus is the reason for the season! While the gifts, lights and all the things are so fun we want our family to know the true gift is Jesus.
As a family we have many holiday traditions. We always set up our Christmas tree and decorations as soon as the clock strikes midnight on October 31st. Our home is decked from head to toe for the holidays and I love the twinkle, warmth, fun and love that it brings to our home. My kids eyes light up with excitement when it’s time to deck the halls. We blast the Christmas music or put on our favorite Christmas movie and just have so much fun.
About 8 years ago we started a new family tradition with my mother in law that is an absolute favorite! We all get in our matching family Christmas pjs and go bowling! The first year we felt a little weird walking in but now we do it with joy and laughter. So if you see as at B&B bowling please come say hi.
Christmas morning is one of my favorites. The kids usually wake up as soon as the sunrises. We like to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and try to focus on that first before we see what Santa brought and open gifts! We always have cinnamon rolls and just have a day of relaxing, playing with our new gifts and enjoying our family. In the evening both sides of our family come over and we eat and celebrate all night long.
This truly is a joy to be part of this event this year! We can’t wait to open our home to you and meet new friends to enjoy the best time of year with.