The "Williams Family" Christmas, is done on Christmas Eve. We would attend Christmas Eve Mass but before leaving the house Momma puts her wonderful manicotti in the oven. We would come home from church to the wonderful smells of manicotti, eat and then do the dishes, while the grandchildren tell everyone to hurry up! Once all of this is done then we exchange our gifts to each other.
As we have gotten older, my siblings and I have married and had families of our own we have not really changed this tradition. Up until 2009, we all lived within a few miles of each other with the exception of my sister Patty who lived in Maryland. In the fall of 2009, my husband and I moved to South Carolina. That year we drove home and then drove back to South Carolina after everything was over.
As the grandchildren became involved in the children's Christmas Eve Mass we still didn't have to change our tradition because the only thing that changed was the time of children's Mass which was at 5:00 PM rather than 7:00PM. My own children participated in the children's mass as have my nieces and nephews. My son David, was the little drummer boy for many years. When David out grew participating in the Children Christmas Eve Mass he began serving as an altar boy for this Mass.
This year we are changing up our tradition. Since our grandson, Easton will be attending his first "Williams Family" Christmas Eve this year we have decided to do lunch rather than dinner, then presents and then everyone goes off to Christmas Eve Mass this way, if Easton isn't too tired they can join the rest of the family at children's Mass. For those of us who are driving two hours or more will get home at reasonable hour and still be able to play "Santa" without being too tired!