Christmas Traditions continuedBy
We’re all about traditions, advents, and countdowns this week here at Inkingoutofthebox.
Yesterday I shared a few family traditions and today I’m going to share the traditions we have that revolve right around Christmas Eve and Day in our family.
My grandparents on my mother’s side were of German heritage and so my mother, and then of course us, were raised with many German traditions. Christmas Eve was very important to my grandparents and was the focal point of all the celebrating. It still is like that in my family today. Christmas Eve is when everything happens around here. All 30 of us gather in the afternoon, usually at my house, and more food is set out than we could all eat in a week! Every surface in the kitchen and dining room are filled with platters of delicious foods and goodies. My sisters and I take much pride in the buffet we create when we gather!! 🙂
The adults spend the time visiting while the children build excitement over the imminent arrival of Santa Claus. Eventually we have stuffed ourselves full of breads, dips, cheese, cookies, bars, and pastry and we must move. Everyone is gathered and we load the vehicles and head off to our city’s famed Nativity Pageant.
For 48 years, volunteers have reinacted out a live nativity of the Savior’s birth to be enjoyed by any who want to come see it. The performance has a realistic setting, live animals, traditional costuming and majestic piped in music and narration. Visiting the live nativity has been a Christmas Eve tradition since before I can remember and if you ask any of our children, they will tell you it’s their favorite part of Christmas.
When we are finished at the nativity, our caravan of vehicles returns to our home where we find that magically Santa has visited us while we were out! Parent’s gather around with camera’s awaiting for the children to find their way to the Christmas tree. Thus proceeds a wonderfully chaotic 2 hours as we enjoy the joy around us as the children open their gifts followed by the adults.
The festivities wind down as midnight approaches and the little ones get sleepy. Food is put away until the morrow, Christmas Day, when the day is met with a late breakfast in pajamas. The traditional Christmas turkey dinner is prepared throughout the day and all gather again for a lovely, more calm evening together.
Christmas in your home may look very different from ours and I’d love to hear about yours. This week, make sure all in your family know why you do the things you do at this time of year and how and why it all started. Traditions are a way to bond family members together and help them feel a part of something special – and they are part of something very special – your family!!