Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Cheer and Christmas Traditions

No matter where you live in the world there are unique customs and traditions that mark holiday and religious celebrations. In this blog, I’m sharing some of mine with you, and I invite you to share yours. I’ll feature your stories on my blog or you may add them to the comments.

As a Christian, I celebrate the birth of my Savior Jesus Christ who was born in Bethlehem many generations ago. On Christmas Eve, our family reads the story of his birth from the book of Luke in the New Testament.

When the children were younger, we actually performed the story in our bathrobes with towels tied onto our heads using Dad’s old neckties. Having six children in our family, there was always a baby Jesus for the manger at some point in time.

Before there were packaged gingerbread houses, I made the dough from scratch. When the shapes were cut, baked, and cooled, the children decorated the house. It didn’t look like magazine versions, but the children loved it. After Christmas, they delighted in breaking the house down and eating their favorite parts.

We had our celebration dinner on Christmas Eve Scandinavian style. We followed the Kansas City tradition serving barbequed beef brisket, augratin potatoes, baconed green beans, and fruit salad.

On Christmas morning, the children sat on the stairway until each child had arrived. Then they ran for their Christmas stockings. Afterward, we all took turns opening one present at a time. It made the thrill last even longer.

Breakfast was homemade doughnuts, eggnog, and sliced oranges. The doughnuts were fried a few days before. The caked ones were dunked in sugar, and the raised doughnuts were dunked in either white frosting or chocolate and sprinkled with coconut or slivered almonds. They were frozen to keep them fresh until Christmas morning.

These memory-building traditions are what binds families together long after the celebrations are over. Please share your family traditions with us. If you need more space, email your comments to me at and I’ll place them in this blog.