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From the time my parents were married, they tried to alternate which side of the family we spent the Holidays with. If Thanksgiving was with my Dad’s family, Christmas was with Mom’s and vice-versa.
Along with traditions from their childhood, my parents wanted to have some of their own…
Dad’s family always had a special meal on Christmas Eve: Steak, potatoes, shrimp, and some other sides. The steak, potatoes, and shrimp are the basics of the meal. For us, it wasn’t always the steak that you’d find at the steak house growing up. Sometimes we’d have that but other times it’d be Oven Steak–a cheaper alternative that still fell within the tradition. Taking hamburger patties and baking them in the oven with cream of chicken gravy. The sides vary based upon what everyone likes or wants. This year some of the sides are coming out of our garden!
After Christmas Eve Dinner we got to open one present–new pajamas! This was something that Mom did growing up that carried over and something I hope to carry over with my own family someday!
And this is where the traditions really become ours…After dinner and the new PJs we’d sit down in the living room and Dad read to us. He’d start with reading the story of Jesus’ birth recorded in Luke Chapter 2 followed by reading a version of “The Night Before Christmas”…It’s usually a new one each year as Mom has started a collection of “The Night Before Christmas” books. We’d set some cookies and milk out for Santa, carrots for the reindeer, and leave ALL the Christmas lights on. Then we’d watch “The Polar Express” while drinking hot cocoa and eating Christmas cookies. After the movie, we’d go to bed and try to sleep until Christmas morning; waking up bright and early, anxious to see what was placed under the tree…
“Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.”
I feel that some tradition is important to pass down to the next generation. Tradition can be good when used correctly but there’s something more important to pass down to the next generation… The belief and faith that we have in Jesus (and not just between Thanksgiving and Christmas)!
“You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
Until next time,