Ann Marie P.
I come from a large family: five sisters and two brothers. Six of us are married with kids, so Christmas posed a big problem with trying to see each other and also see in-laws. We decided to do an informal Christmas brunch, which is usually held the Sunday after Christmas (it can change—this year it will be on New Year's Day). We get together at someone's home, everyone in jeans and sweatshirts. Everyone brings food (we take turns preparing, making coffee, etc.), and we dig in and eat and talk and catch up. Then it's time to open presents. Everyone with kids does a grab bag with a $50 limit for kids. Some years we do an adult grab bag as well. We watch each other open presents, take pictures and have fun. After that, we spread throughout the house, clean up, talk, (some napping is done). It's usually an open house after opening presents. You can invite a friend or two over to join the fun. At about 4 or 5 p.m. we serve baked ziti and cold ham with some salads—informal is the key to the day. We love this tradition in our family and have extended the idea of Christmas beyond the confines of December 25.