Tradition (noun): the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way.
Holidays are all about tradition. Tradition is what makes everything you do special. It carries on throughout the years to make memories even more memorable and cherished.
Every family has their special holiday traditions, I am here to tell you mine.
Christmas is always a time to look forward to in my household. It is normally comprised of just my immediate family at my house in North Carolina. I know in years past we may have had other company from our extended family, but for the most part it has just been us at our house.
Every Christmas Eve is pretty much the same. Our family is Catholic and so it is tradition that we go to Christmas mass. We normally go to the 5:30 mass at our local high school (our parish is so big that they have overflow masses at this location). After this is over we help clean up the gym where mass is held because everything has to be taken down as it is the last service of the night.
We then like to go home and get dinner started. Because of how formal our Christmas Day dinner is, we like to keep Christmas Eve very casual. We normally order chicken fingers or wings of some kind from a local restaurant and we always have pigs in a blanket. If you are not aware of what these are you are seriously missing out, they're just mini hotdogs wrapped in crescent rolls - delicious. When we are eating our dinner it is not a 'sit down' style that we normally do. It is more of a buffet, where we grab what we want and go eat in the living room where our tree and television is kept.
After dinner we proceed with opening gifts. These are the gifts from family. As we have grown older our extended family hasn't sent us many presents; but normally presents from extended and immediate family members are opened tonight. The way we open gifts is from youngest to oldest, or vice a versa. One member of the family is chosen to be 'Santa', aka wear the Santa hat and distribute gifts to everyone...that person is almost always me.
Once we are finished opening all presents we proceed to watching our yearly movies. It is either all or a couple of the following three. First, SNL Christmas DVD (the one that was released in 1999). Secondly we have It's a Wonderful Life, I know that this is a very popular movie with a lot of families during Christmas time. And lastly we have Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, that is a hilarious movie that is entirely puppets directed by Jim Henson; it's not really meant to be hilarious but we find it to be pretty funny.
After all or a couple of the movies are watched we go to bed. At this time, and especially when we were younger, this is where Santa comes. The rule is, the first person to wake up wakes up the entire family and we all get our robes on and wait at the top of the stairs, in order from youngest to oldest, and we all walk down stairs together to see what Santa had brought us the night before.
Once Mom and Dad have fixed their cups of tea and everyone is settled in the living room around the tree, my mom becomes 'Santa' and hands out the gifts that Santa had brought us. Once all of the presents are open the day is filled with playing with our new toys. At the end of the day we have a more formal dinner to celebrate Christmas.
And that is it! The Salchert family's Christmas tradition. So tell me, what special traditions does your family have during holidays?
Until next time,