Christmas is a wonderful time to reflect and be thankful! Most of my family traditions revolve around gift exchanges, elaborate decorations, a smorgasbord of cookies—and an entire kitchen full of delightful foods!
Let’s Celebrate Family Traditions!
For breakfast we usually have a bread casserole with sausage, cheese and egg, or a coffee cake with the cinnamon brown sugar butter crumbles. Leftovers hold us through til dinner with the family, when everyone brings a dish to our festive family holiday. We make my great grandmother Tobias’ cranberry salad with strawberry jello, orange juice and apples. There’s always deviled eggs, some sort of veggie casserole, and olives galore. Sometimes the olives become cream cheese bellied penguins, with carrot noses and feet. There’s snack meats of all shapes and sizes to pair with prospective cheeses. And the house turns into a little bakery, pumping out sweet smells from dozens of fresh baked cookies, mini pies and caramels mom bakes. Every neighbor, former boss and family friend get a tray of no less than 8 varieties.
And we decorate! Every year mom gets each kid another ornament in their series. I’ve received rocking horses, cats, and miniature houses over the years, while my brother got lots of cars and action figures.
But the tradition I love most is our gift exchange. We enjoy teasing a family member who’s been overly dramatic, forgetful or far too gushy about something by creating a gift-giving theme about their moment!
For example, one year, my cousin complained about a lack of Frosted Flakes, and also happened to lose her car keys. Separate incidents, but I hope she had her Frosted Flakes that morning. At Christmas, everyone brought Tony the Tiger and a spare car key wrapped their own unique way. The most creative packaging for the key was a pair of underwear with a secret pocket. Genious! Well, as long as you wash them daily or get more than one pair made.
Another year, my dad threw a mini-tantrum over his lack of baby powder. I don’t wanna get too deep in the story, but everyone gave him huge bottles so they wouldn’t hear about his wet parts again. The most creative gift giver was my artistically inclined aunt, who affixed her own label that read, ‘Potter’s Penis Powder.’ Another lightning bolt of creativity strikes the fam!
Now we do a white elephant exchange, where we wrap up crap around the house we don’t want and draw lottery numbers to see who picks from the circle of packages first. But I kinda miss emphasizing the weird moments of someone’s life. What we had was fun like a Festivus roast— we teased the family member about their feelings— but we also fed ’em and gave ’em tons of what they wanted or needed. Oooh, Christmas!
You may not think the things you do are traditional, but just by doing them, you’re creating habits… which form traditions! So keep that spirit alive all year round, and Merry Christmas, MoFo’s!