I love Christmas traditions. I love that every family or every person has different things they do consistently each year.
Every year, for as long as I can remember, just before my family opens presents on Christmas Eve (another tradition of ours), we read the passage in Luke about the birth of Jesus. We’ll all sit in the living room and someone will read from Luke 2 every year before we pass out all the gifts. It’s a small thing and doesn’t take long, but it reminds us of why we celebrate.
For the last six or eight years, I’d guess, those of us who are able will go to the Christmas Eve service at First United Methodist in Monroe. My Memaw was the church secretary there for 31 years. They have the most beautiful Christmas Eve service with a choir accompanied by a small orchestra, a message from the pastor, and then the night ends with everyone in the church singing Silent Night by candlelight. At the end, you can look around, and the entire church is full of candles. It’s beautiful. My Memaw, who died almost four years ago, gave two angel figurines to the church in memory of my Papaw after he died in 1995, and they put them up in the sanctuary. Instead of just bringing them out for Christmas, they are up year round, mounted in the pipe organs. When I look at the angels, I think of my sweet grandparents who are a part of many of my happy childhood memories.
For the past few years, my sister and I have ordered Sayid a new collar for Christmas from a particular shop on Etsy. Her collars are amazing and of excellent quality, so he doesn’t necessarily need a new collar, but they’re so fun to pick out. And he’s like a happy little kid who is excited to open his package – with a little help from those of us with opposable thumbs – and see his new collar every Christmas. Last year, he got a Little Red Riding Hood themed collar. The year before that was a park scene with blue skies, lots of trees, and birds. This year’s theme, in honor of his newly discovered love of going on bike rides with Melissa, is bicycles. He’s gonna love it. And my goodness, it’s gonna be cute on him! I can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail.
My old supervisor, Mrs. Donna, had a delicious recipe for shrimp & grits, and she gave the recipe out to everyone. My nephews are helpful in the kitchen and liked the idea of helping me cook breakfast a few years ago. It was so tasty and we had such a good time that it stuck and we did it again a second year. Thankfully, I got approval to be off work the day after Christmas this year, so I’ll head to a grocery store or two on Christmas Eve and pick up our ingredients. Then I’ll wake up early(ish) on the 26th, load up all my ingredients, and head to Mama’s & Daddy’s house to cook with Caleb and Jacob for the third year in a row.
For years, I had the habit of watching my favorite movie – While You Were Sleeping – at some point on Christmas Eve. There have been a handful of years lately that it hasn’t happened. But maybe I can squeeze it in this year. I’ll sure try!
What are your Christmas traditions with your family?