I think I missed my calling. I should have mastered in Sociology. Why? Because I adore learning about people. Maybe it is being nosey and annoying but I really love studying and researching cultures and people in my ‘hood. I try to be smooth about my questioning! I cannot help it and hopefully curiosity won’t kill this cat!
Today I’m linked up with Sarah & Victoria for this little topic of sharing our Christmas traditions. When we, as bloggers, collaborate and link up to post on traditions I get all giddy. The best way to broaden our own horizons is to learn about what other people do to celebrate a significant time of life or even the year. It also inspires me to create more traditions and try new things with my own little family.
When I think back on thirty-five Christmas seasons I realize I only remember may twenty-nine of them thanks to age. Over the course of my childhood the traditions changed. When I was very young I remember, clearly, loading up in my Aunt Sue and Uncle Edwin’s massive van to go eat seafood on Christmas Eve. We would go to a place just a quick drive away called Dockside and eat popcorn shrimp, dark fried flounder, french fries, baked potatoes, and hush puppies to our heart’s content. I do not think we did this very long but I can clearly remember it. Mainly, it was riding in that massive delivery van, I mean family van!
When I was a bit older my mom and I would attend the Christmas Eve Service at the Moravian Church. The church that is home to the Love Feast – a time of song, scripture, coffee, and hot cross buns. I hail from the (American) land of the Moravians. Of course after other denominations learned how popular this Christmas Eve celebration was they started doing their own in the Baptist and Methodist congregations. Personally, nothing beats the true Moravian Love Feast. Afterwards, mom and I would go get a Mexican dinner. After reading this I just have to smile – America is pretty incredible.
College brought serious relationships and that meant that Christmas Eve would be spent with those serious relationship boys’ parents and families. There is nothing more nerve-racking than spending four hours with a mother who looks at you as if you are the spawn of the Devil himself. I pray I am never that boy mom!
Now I am a mama and wife and traditions are so much more important to me. From going to get the tree on Thanksgiving Day to driving around and looking at Christmas lights in subdivisions, to visiting Santa then eating pizza – Christmas means so much to me. Last year I started an new tradition of having a housefull of elementary school kids over to make cookies, eat lunch, and play. My husband and I always try to squeeze in a holiday date night which generally ends up with a shopping trip, great dinner, and Starbucks.
My grown up Christmas Eve consists of a fun list of nothing spectacular! We go out for breakfast and then run any errands we need to pick up last-minute gifts or recipe ingredients. I pick up Chinese around mid-afternoon and we lase around until time to get all ready to spend the evening with my in-laws. Luckily, the evil eye of a disapproving mother is not on me. However, there are some eyes of people who despise me in the room and I giggle inside over it.
On Christmas morning my daughter sleeps in. She gets it from her mama. Even growing up I had to be awoken by my own mom to go see what Santa left for me! My son bubbles up from the bed ready to see what was left for him. We drink a lot of coffee and cuss packaging and just try to soak it all in.
Last year we started a new tradition. I make breakfast for not just my little tribe but also my mom, her husband, and my brother. We spend the morning eating and unwrapping gifts and do a whole lot of laughing at the expense of a four, nine, and twenty-one year old.
Growing up I was blessed to have my Mammaw in my life. She was the Southern Cooks of all Southern Cooks. We would be at her house at 11:30 am to partake in a full spread of home cooked goodness. A turkey, roast beef, greens, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, deviled eggs, rolls, corn bread, green beans and corn…oh how I miss it. Then there were the desserts – cherry yum yum, chocolate pound cake, chocolate pie, coconut pie or cake. We would founder ourselves on the food and then the adults would talk and talk while the kids would be squirreling around the formal living room stuffing presents in piles to be opened up as soon as the last adult set foot on the threshold of the room.
I haven’t had a Christmas with that side of my family since 2008. She passed in 2005 and then everything started falling apart. But don’t cry for me, Argentina. We’re just fine.
Now Christmas Day is scattered between the remaining members of my mom’s family. I’m not sure how this Christmas will play out since my Mom-o passed away in October. I know we will be together and we will eat and laugh and remember.
We wrap up our celebrations at my dad’s house with his fiancée and my brother. Finger foods, wine, and football. The kids are so incredibly tired by this point they laugh at wall paint. Us adults are generally sleepy too but we keep on keeping on because it is Christmas.
After the kids are asleep for the night the hubs and I pour a drink and turn on the television and tell each other Merry Christmas. Eventually, we will take the recycle out and pick up the toys that are now half broken and scattered about. But for a little bit we will just sit and talk and love.
And I guess that is what it is all about.
Other traditions we have:
We always “adopt” two names from the Angel Tree ministry. Generally, we adopt two children but this year we opted to adult an elderly adult (she’s 97!) from a local nursing home and a mentally challenged lady from the local group home. I feel like this is of utmost importance that my kids learn to give to those in need. Paying forward our blessings is our job!
Growing up I was in Christmas plays at church. Now my kids participate in Christmas programs at the church we attend (this will be my daughter’s second year in the live nativity) and also at the church my mom attends.
And that wraps up (I know I am forgetting something that would be fist to the forehead!) our traditions! Even if you aren’t a blogger comment a favorite tradition!