FRM Christmas Traditions

There is no ideal Christmas; only the one Christmas you decide to make as a reflection of your values, desires, affections, traditions. -Bill McKibben

Christmas is a season for traditions, and in my family we are set on keeping those traditions alive. Whether it be our meeting with family on Christmas eve, to Chinese food for dinner or finding a pickle in the tree we have followed these traditions for as long as I can remember.

When I was little I remember spending half my time with my parents and the other half with my Grandparents. I had a terrific bond with both of them and every year on Christmas eve my parents and I would go to my Grandparents house to exchange gifts and eat dinner. I always remember eating Chinese on Christmas eve and opening a mountain of gifts from my Aunt and Uncle and Grandparents. Christmas day was spent with my parents at our house and my mother would make a big prime rib dinner. Christmas was always spent at home playing with my new toys. After my Grandfather passed and my Grandmother moved in with us we still continued our Christmas Eve tradition and my Aunt and Uncle and older cousin would come to our house. Every year since I can remember we ate Chinese, that never changed. Later when I got older I remember we had to reschedule “Christmas Eve” because my cousin worked at the post office and they were doing over time to get everyone’s packages and letters sent out in time. Sometimes we would celebrate the following week, other times it was put off for over a month. But our Christmas Eve traditions were never cancelled. Once I grew up and had children of my own we continued out Christmas Eve tradition and would visit my parents every Christmas Eve, and we still eat Chinese.

Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends. – Margaret Thatcher

I may be wrong but I believe this tradition came from my fathers side; finding an ornament shaped like a pickle in the Christmas tree. Growing up my parents would play a game with us when my brother and sister would come to visit over Christmas break. They would place the pickle ornament somewhere in the tree and whoever found it would get an extra gift. My siblings and I became very good at finding this pickle in the tree so one year my mother bought some extra green ornaments and placed them all over the tree to make the game a bit harder. Once my son was old enough to play the game we went to the store and purchased a plastic pickle for our tree. Seeing as how it would be something he would be looking for we decided to buy a plastic one opposed to a glass one so it wouldn’t break when he found it. Good thing we did too because it hadn’t been hanging on the tree for more than week when my son pulled it down and tried to eat it! Years later we still have the plastic pickle with bite marks hanging from our Christmas tree.

I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world. – Norma Vincent Peale

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