(I always say that word like Tevye does… TRADITIONS!)
Last night’s blog got me to thinking… what are my family’s Christmas traditions???
Well, first of all… Christmas Eve is Oyster Stew. With none of my family around, meaning my parents and brother and sister, the only ones to eat oyster stew are Daniel and I. My mom would make split pea soup for those that didn’t care for oysters, but I prefer to feed them chili… or potato soup.
Second, little kids are allowed to open their smallest present on Christmas Eve. I loved that growing up… it helped keep the anticipation for Christmas morning to a dull roar…
A reading of The Night Before Christmas and the story from the Bible ended the night.
Christmas morning was for opening gifts, but everyone had to be present and accounted for… stockings were full, so it was a good delaying tactic. The gift of an orange gradually gave way to the chocolate orange… Daddy would have to slam mine down to break it up for me! Later, Mom started putting our favorite food in our stocking… I got to enjoy a whole jar of green olives without getting in trouble for eating the ones Daddy put in his martinis. My brother, Don, usually woke me up… I’ve always been a sound sleeper… even when my dad would tease me late at night by threatening to “Shoot anyone that came down his chimney in the middle of the night!” It sounds bad writing it, but he just said it so I’d roll my eyes and say, “Daaaaaaaddddddddyyyyyyy….”
My friend attended one of my Christmases as an adult child at my mom’s house… and was amazed to see us all pull out our pocketknives and slice the tape on packages carefully and fold the paper gently to be reused the next year. She was from a rip-the-paper kind of family and she was shocked! We gradually gave that up, but I admit, I still cringe when all that paper goes to waste! I tried once to get everyone interested in making cloth bags of all sizes to be reused, but Vernon just rolled his eyes at me. I thought festive Christmas fabric under the tree would be nice… oh, well.
Christmas dinner evolved. Turkey and ham gave way to prime rib and crab legs… sticking with prime rib for many years. Then mom made Pork Loin with Plum Sauce… and I’ve been hooked on that… yum. Scalloped corn is my favorite, frozen pea salad, and pretzel salad a close second. We have them for Thanksgiving as well. Dessert includes my birthday cake. For years it was a German Chocolate cake. Then my mom started making me a fresh coconut cake. It was her mother’s recipe. After mom died, my sister and I searched all her cookbooks and recipe box, but there was no recipe for it. I really wish I had that!!! Isn’t it strange how something as normal as coconut cake becomes so special when your mom is no longer there to make it for you…
Christmas has always been MY HOLIDAY. I loved it. Even if during my childhood, I never had a party on my actual birthday! We might get to see relatives… or be somewhere different… and my parents always gave me two presents. One for my birthday (wrapped in birthday paper) and one (appropriately wrapped) for Christmas. Never a two-in-one combination. Never, here’s-pecan-pie-happy-birthday. I did feel guilty about having twice as many presents under the tree as my brother and sister, so I got good at unwrapping FAST so we’d end up at the same time! I love decorations, I love decorating… I love being Christmas Carol. I love that my dad took my mom and older brother and sister quail hunting on the day I was born!!! They stayed by the car, of course.
So… what are your traditions??? Please share!
To help get you in the holiday mood, here’s a pic of a neighbor I took the other day… you might recognize him from this summer’s post. (I don’t think he’s shaved since then!) We met him on the road, he was trailing cows down… but I couldn’t resist taking a photo of him. Yes, that’s a purple Santa hat pulled over his cowboy hat. HoHoHo! Merry Christmas!!!!!