The month of December feels magical. There is a twinkle in the air and excitement is tangible. Here are a few Christmas Traditions (some old, some new) from my family.
Christmas Eve growing up was when we went to afternoon mass as a family all dressed up in our Christmas best and then after church we would go to my paternal grandparents’ house with all of my cousins from my dad’s side of the family. We would eat ham and potatoes. Then all the kids would dress up as characters of the Christmas story and stand on the hearth while my grandmother read the Christmas story from the bible. Then we would sing Christmas carols. As we sang Jingle Bells we would hear sleigh bells outside and rush to the door. It was Santa with a huge bag of presents- one for each of us. We would open our presents from Santa, then those exchanged among the family and end with dessert. This memory serves such a special place in my heart. I remember as a child changing into my PJs at grandma’s house and we got to stay up past our bedtime and drive home in the dark.
Now Christmas eve is spent with my parents. Now that we have our own children we dress them up for the nativity scene. Then we open all the presents for Christmas.
As a child, we would hop out of bed as soon as our eyes opened, sneak downstairs and look to see what gifts were out that were not opened. Then we would try to wait until our parents woke. It was so tough to be patient. When they finally awoke we would open our presents. Then we would have a big breakfast always with cinnamon rolls rising from the night before. Christmas morning was always just for our immediate family. We would stay in our pajamas all morning long playing with our gifts.
My mother still makes cinnamon rolls and I always eat way too many on Christmas morning.
Then later in the day, we would go over to my maternal grandparents’ house (we lived within a 3-mile radius of both sets of grandparents). Grandma would always make something delicious like tamales or posole. I remember how fun it was to see my cousins from my mom’s side of the family and my grandparents had this large nativity set up in their living room. Baby Jesus would only appear on Christmas morning.
Now we take a walk to the beach (about ½ mile) and walk on the pier. The pier always has a Christmas Tree at the end. Also, we still go see my grandparents (although this year we will not be able to due to the pandemic- FaceTime will have to do).
These traditions bring me so much joy to write about. As my little guy is starting to get older, I dream about what traditions will continue and what new traditions we will create as a family.
What is your favorite holiday tradition? How many Christmas celebrations do you celebrate? I am all ears!!!