Do NOT Copy

Do NOT Copy

Christmas Traditions

I have been reading and researching Christmas traditions a bit this month as part of my ancestry research. It has been quite interesting. Two thinngs that we do not currently do that we may seriously think about adding to our traditions is the Swedish St. Lucia celebration on December 13 and the Finnish lunch of porridge on Christmas Eve day. One of the bowls gets an almond in it. When that person finds the almond they are supposed to sing a song. What fun! So what exactly IS porridge anyway? Would it be silly to use cream of wheat instead? My kids really like cream of wheat and I find it difficult to get Peanut to eat anything different.

What other traditions do we participate in? I'm so glad you asked! It seems that we already do some of the things our ancestors did to celebrate Christmas. We wait until after Thanksgiving to put up our Christmas decorations. It is a fun family activity that I like to have everyone participate in whenever possible. The kids especially enjoy putting the ornaments on the tree. While we do this we listen to traditional Christmas music and belt out the tunes at the top of our lungs. (If you don't want to hear loud, off-key singing voices, this would be the best time to avoid visiting us!)

We enjoy making gifts for people to show our love and thoughts about those who are dear to us. We have made toys, books, food, ornaments, and blankets among many other things. We don't make everything every year but we DO try to at least make a few ornaments for our tree each year.

We always have to do Christmas baking each year. Some years we do more baking than others. Peanut was dissappointed that I wasn't able to get Christmas cookies made for her class Christmas party but she did get peanut butter cookies and chocolate chip cookies. I still plan on making Christmas cookies this year, it appears to be a strong contender for our Santa treat. I don't think we've missed a year of making these cookies since the kids were bron. It appears that the kids' favorite part of this tradition is the ability to decorate the cookies after they have cooled. We make several different colors of frosting and haul out the sprinkles and they go to town.

Every year we go to a Christmas Eve church service. I like to go to the first candle light service, I don't do well with staying up until midnight though. My favorite part of the service is when they turn off all of the lights in the church and we sing Silent Night in the spakling candle light. I can feel God's incredible peace settle over us for a moment, it's just the absolute best feeling in the world!

When I was a child, my family traveled to see relatives every year. Even when there was bad weather predicted or whatever it just didn't matter. The driving usually ended up being Christmas day, but it was sometimes Christmas Eve. We got to open one gift on Christmas Eve night but had to save the rest for Christmas Day. We have continued this tradition with our children even though we don't usually get the opportunity to travel far from home. Cheesehead has a very hectic work schedule and often has to work both the day before and the day after the holiday. We do invite everyone to our house but it seems that since we have moved to our "new" home the in-laws are the only ones who have ended up coming over.

When we lived in MN we had two Christmas celebrations. We celebrated my family's Christmas on Christmas Eve and Cheesehead's on Christmas Day. The Christmas Eve dinner was usually whatever we felt like having, we had steaks, pizza, meat and cheese trays, you name it we ate it, though it was often a big meal. Christmas Day is usually either turkey or ham with mashed potatoes and all of the traditional Thanksgiving fixings. I have to admit that it's more time than not turkey because Cheesehead doesn't like ham but sometimes we have both. Then we REALLY have lots of leftovers.

What do you and your family do to celebrate Christmas? (Or Kwanza, Chaunakah, whatever you celebrate in December?)

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