A few of my friends do this too, so it isn’t necessarily original, but sleeping by the Christmas tree is a time honored tradition in our home. This year was the seventeenth year.
We used to do our Christmas Tree Sleepover the night after decorating the tree. Now we do it when it fits best in our schedules, and sometimes more than once a season. Because you really can’t have too many sleepovers by the tree.
Once the lights are twisted around the tree, the ornaments hung, and the angel at the top, we start preparing for a sleepover.
When the kids were really little we would blow up a camping mattress and they would pile on top with their sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets. As they grew we added more mattresses, or put some on the blow-up and some on couches.
We would drink cocoa or have a special dessert. And read Christmas stories by the light of the tree.
As they got older they started requesting a Christmas movie on a personal DVD player. They would all huddle around the tiny movie player and snuggle in close.
I loved those days. Sleeping cherub-like faces glowing in the colored lights of the Christmas tree. I loved their matching jammies and how they all seemed to get along that night. If felt magical. Like a mini Disneyland in our living room.
Now the ones that are home drape themselves over couches. Or each other. Pillows and blankets piled everywhere. Christmas movies are watched on a flat screen rather than a personal player. The movies are funny and more grown up instead of the animated favorites from the past. They don’t want me to take pictures and I can’t stay awake long enough for them to fall asleep, but it mostly feels the same. And I still love it. I love the tradition. I love the way the lights look on their tween/teen/adult faces too. Even if they drag themselves to their own beds as soon as the sun starts to peek through the window so they can grab a few more hours of sleep. I love it.
I hope that someday when we have grandchildren, they’ll want to sleep by our tree too. That we’ll read all the old Christmas stories that I read to their parents. That they’ll snuggle in close in their matching Christmas jammies (oh yeah, that will still be happening). And I’ll get to watch a new generation of cherub-like faces illuminated by our Christmas tree.