1. Candy Canes - I love them! All that pepperminty goodness, curved into the fun shape of a cane. Although that darn bend does make it harder to enjoy that part, the rest of it is fabulous. When I was little, I only liked the multi-colored ones that tasted like cherry, but now I only like the traditional peppermint ones.
(Okay, this pic is obviously a few years old)
In the evening, my parents' best friends and their kids always come over to my parents' house before mass, and we visit with them and then we all walk up to church and go to mass. Afterwards, we pile into the car and head to my Grandparents' house. Their house is wonderful. There's always a roaring fire, homemade Bailey's, all of relatives from that side of the family, lots of food, and laughter. My cousins and I (same ones from the morning) always sit in the living room and sing Christmas carols. After dinner, we nag the "adults" to come upstairs so that we can open gifts.
Then the flurry begins. The youngest cousins pass out the gifts, and my Grandma always tries to make people open one at a time so that everyone can see what everyone else received. This never lasts very long - soon there's wrapping paper everywhere and "thank you's" being shouted over the noise.
The last tradition is pajamas. My Grandma buys all of the cousins PJs every year. And every year we immediately put them on after the gifts are opened and then wear them home. Keep in mind our ages range from 6 - 38. And it never fails. We tell her annually that she always has to get us PJs.
Christmas Day is always wonderful, too. I stay at my parents' house and open gifts with them and my sister in the morning. We gorge ourselves on a big breakfast. The afternoon/evening is reserved for my mom's side of the family. We go to someone's house and we get to see all of my relatives on that side. A lot of my cousins on that side live out of state, but there's usually someone home for the holidays, and it's always great to catch up.
We also do a grab bag on this side of the family - everyone buys something and then we draw cards to determine the order of who opens when. You can open a new gift or steal someone else's (everyone calls this something different). There's usually one gift every year that moves through the ranks, and it's hilarious.
Mission accomplished - I'm in a much better mood now!! I love the holidays :)