What’s Christmas really like at Kate Gosselin‘s house? Just what you’d expect of a family with 8 kids, she says – “a jubilant, chaotic scream fest.”
In an article she wrote for the CouponCabin website, Kate shares details about her household’s holiday traditions, from decorating to Christmas breakfast to the dreaded cleanup (all that wrapping paper!). Read on for more…
The Gosselins bought their tree right after Thanksgiving but didn’t trim it till last weekend – a little later than usual, Kate says, because “with homework, the marathon [Kate did a charity run] and custody weekends to dodge, our winter wonderland was a bit delayed.”
While Kate puts the hooks on the ornaments, the children do the actual hanging. “And very honestly (and perhaps shockingly!), I don’t care one bit where the ornaments land,” she says. “As long as the branch isn’t weighted to the ground, I’m okay with their way of decorating.”
But the rest of the house is strictly Mom’s territory. “Typically I decorate while the kids are at school, which is how they prefer it. They love to walk in to a red and green adorned home without warning.”
To keep the gifts safe from nosy eyes, Kate wraps them late at night after the octet has gone to bed. She reserves the paper scraps from the bigger presents to wrap small stocking stuffers (“saves money and paper!”) But there’s an ulterior motive behind those extra treats: Since the kids open their stockings first, Kate has time to down a quick cup of coffee while they tear open the little gifts. Then the family has a breakfast of cinnamon buns and hot chocolate before getting down to the real loot.
The young Gosselins pick a place near the tree – Kate used to mark their spots with a piece of paper, but this year they can choose their own space – and the fun begins. They race to the tree, collect one gift from Mom, go to their spots to open the packages, and then run back to the tree for the next round of goodies. “And the process starts over again and again and again… Oh, and sometimes some wrapped stuff for mom appears too!”
Once everything is finally unwrapped, Mom gets the unenviable task of prying toys from their packaging (all those plastic containers and twist-ties!) and installing batteries – a chore that can take more than 4 hours. “I am not exaggerating! My hiney’ is sore by the time the last toy has been freed from its packaging prison,” Kate says. Then all the trash goes out, a pile so big that Kate leaves boxes of baked goods by the trash cans for the sanitation workers in a gesture of sympathy.
But Kate confesses that clean-up time is actually her favorite time of the day because “I have the most grateful kids in the world!” They often interrupt their playing to come over and thank her enthusiastically right up until the eight Gosselins collapse happily into bed.
Even though the festivities will be interrupted this year – reportedly the kids will be spending most of Christmas Day with dad Jon – Kate still relishes the joy that the holiday brings with her noisy, happy household.
“I so love Christmas…and I especially love the happy chaos it creates at the Gosselin home!”
[Photo: Pacific Coast News]