Friday, December 9, 2011
Christmas is coming soon (as if you didn’t know). J I was sitting here today thinking about past Christmas’. Growing up, our family always celebrated Christmas with a few traditions. Family gatherings always took place at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house (my Dad’s parents). My grandparents had 7 children. If I figured it up right, those 7 kids had a total of 22 kids (give or take a kid or two). Add in all the other relatives that showed up, I am sure we had around 50 people there every major holiday.
At Thanksgiving, we all did a name exchange for Christmas. I always wanted to get my cousin Tangy’s name but I think I only got her name once in all the years. The big party at Grandma’s was always on Christmas Eve. Grandma had a huge Christmas tree and all the kids put on a play for the grown-ups. We practiced one night a week from Thanksgiving up until Christmas Eve. We did the nativity story. I don’t care if you were 2 or 22. If you were a “kid” then you did the play. After the play, it was like a talent show. Some kids may sing a solo or duet; some may read a poem; some may play their musical instrument. Good or bad, everyone loved it.
Then we all got together and sang Christmas carols and then there would be a knock on the door and Santa Claus had arrived. He had a gift and a bag of fruit, candy and nuts for every single child and adult there. It was WONDERFUL! I wish that could have continued forever but things change.
My Grandma passed away and with her passing went that Christmas tradition. Each family just started doing things on their own.
My immediate family had a tradition all their own. Christmas Eve once we got home from Grandma’s, we sorted all the presents into stacks by names. Christmas morning, as kids, we always woke up as early as possible, I mean, like 4:30 or 5 a.m. to open gifts, so having the gifts in stacks was easier. We would all wake up and make a bee line to the gifts. After the gifts were all open, Dad took us all out to breakfast. We usually went to Holiday Inn because as a child, we didn’t have IHOP’s, etc. that were always open. On Christmas Day, about the only place open for breakfast would be a hotel’s restaurant. (BTW, my Dad is still doing this today. I don’t go anymore because I live 5 hours from there.)
Now that I have my own family, we really don’t have that many new traditions of our own yet. On Christmas Eve, we sit around eating homemade goodies and singing Christmas carols. We talk about why we celebrate Christmas and we sort out the gifts. On Christmas morning, we still get up super early and now either Ron makes a big breakfast for everyone or if we have the money, we go out to eat too.
I would love to implement in some new traditions. Can you help me? What does your family do now or when you were a child? Give me some ideas.