Many families have Christmas traditions. Things they do, or foods they eat every year to celebrate the holidays. Some are simple, others are more elaborate, but there is something comforting about a tradition. It is something familiar, something to be looked forward to, and something to pass on to younger generations. Sometimes they change over the years, but it’s hard to find someone who celebrates the holidays, that doesn’t have some type of tradition.
I was thinking about my own traditions and talking to friends about there’s. It’s interesting to find out that some are selfless acts of giving, while others are just plain old-fashioned fun. For example, as a child every year my parents would quietly seek out a family in need. As a family we would go shopping to buy all the ingredients for a Christmas dinner for them, as well as several gifts for them to have under the tree. This was before organized toy drives or food banks, but it helped instill in me the true meaning of Christmas.
In talking with friends, I discovered that one family would gather; grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins of all ages, on Christmas Eve. Before gifts could be distributed, each person had to choose a Christmas carol and then everyone sang. The fun part was seeing if everyone knew the words to each song!
Another family had a big noon meal on Christmas Day; long tables set up in the walk-in basement, again with extended family stopping in throughout the day. By evening, everyone was there and the matriarch would bring out her wooden box of pennies to distribute for penny poker. Everyone could play, no one was excluded, but the rule was at the end of the night, no one kept their winnings. All the pennies went back into the box and instead, candy was distributed to the kids and cocktails to the grown-ups.
\While some of these traditions have changed over the years, the act of keeping up some type of tradition has not. What do you and your loved ones do every year that has become the fabric of your family celebrations?