Linking up with Story of Us to share Christmas traditions!
Ever since I can remember, my family would go to church together on Christmas Eve. We’d switch up which service we attended every year, but I can never forget the year when the little girl behind sitting behind me almost lit my hair on fire during “Silent Night.” Not kidding. After church, we’d ride around town looking at Christmas lights and listening to Christmas music in the car. We would come home, get in our PJs, and get in bed quickly! When I was younger, we’d monitor Santa’s travels on the news on tv.
Christmas morning, we’d wake up nice and early…well, mainly me, and rush to the Christmas tree. My parents wouldn’t let us downstairs until we were both awake so my brother and I could run down together on home video. Sometimes we’d have to “re-enact” our run down the stairs because it wasn’t exciting enough for the camera. Ha! We’d spend a few hours opening presents, and my mom would made a great breakfast for us. About noon, we’d pack up the car and drive to my grandmother’s house in Memphis where we met up with the rest of our aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The first night at Grandmother’s, we’d have a BIG feast of a dinner – turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, orange jello, fruit salad, butter beans, salad, etc. You name it, we had it. Then, we’d take turns opening Christmas presents. When we were younger, my grandmother would make the grandkids perform before opening presents. This usually meant we had to sing a song, play the piano, or do a short play. I was a show pony from a young age.
The next night, we’d go to my dad’s parents’ house and my Nana would ALWAYS serve Lobster and Steak for “Christmas Dinner.” I hate seafood, so the steak was really just for me. We’d all take turns opening presents and enjoy being with each other.
Now that both sets of grandparents are deceased, we don’t make it back to Memphis for big family Christmases. One year, my last living grandmother took us on a cruise. That was pretty fun.
For the last few years, my mom and I have taken a girls’ trip during the holidays because my work at the time was generous on time-off.
One year my mom and I went to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Another year, my mom and I drove to Memphis, and stopped at our family spring in Arkansas for a few days.
2 years ago we went to Los Angeles, but somehow I don’t have any of those photos.
Anyways, now that I’m married, its a challenge to determine how we will experience Christmas as a new family. We’re learning that we can’t please everyone, and that we do want to make our own traditions, whatever those may be. Once we have kids, I know we’ll really have to start thinking about this!
What have your Christmas traditions been like?