Monday, December 1, 2014

Thinking About Christmas Traditions

I remember, back in my school days, being asked to write about our family's Christmas traditions.  At the time, I was thinking of "traditions" as being big, ceremonial things that our family did year after year.  I kind of came up dry, and I think I hurt my mom's feelings when I told her I couldn't think of any traditions we had.  Truth is, I just wasn't getting an accurate picture of the word TRADITION.

Through the years, I've come to realize that a BIG part of my family's traditions revolves around food -- nothing that is particularly from our heritage in any way, but things that are just special-occasion favorites to us.  Some people plan a new menu each and every year to keep it interesting, but my family knows what we like, and what we like is cheese-ball and crackers, and sausage balls waiting as an appetizer when we arrive at Mom & Dad's.  We like our main course to be beef, and it wouldn't be Christmas without mashed potatoes!  As for dessert, Peppermint Patty Brownies are a favorite, and there are always frosted "cut-out" cookies.

I've also realized that one of the things I love about Christmas is bringing out all of the "old faithful" decorations.  Some people decorate in a different color scheme each year, but to me, a big part of our decorating is our "same old" tree with the mismatched lights and the family-made ornaments.  I can't imagine a tree with color coordinated balls, or something that "matched" our decor.  For me, decorating for Christmas has almost nothing to do with home decor, and everything to do with memories.

It took me a long time to realize our most precious traditions, and to bring the things I love into clearer focus.

What are your favorite Christmas traditions?  Do some of them revolve around FOOD?

Do you have a favorite ornament that you can't wait to hang each year?

Is familiarity important to you around the holidays, or do you like all-things-new?


  1. We decided to decorate our tree differently this year, adding only the white or rustic ones. I love it, but that's only because we have a second tree in the basement family room and all our special memories are down there. Like you, I couldn't imagine a Christmas without my favorite decorations!

  2. We've done a lot of talking and reflecting upon traditions this year. We have been married 7 years an have never spent a holiday in our own home because everyone has "traditions" that we have to be together and we have to do everything "just so." We had a terrible Thanksgiving for that reason, spent most of it in the car, drag gin ourselves to each person's house, and came home sick afterward. This Christmas, we sat in our own home together, just the two of us and our pretty decorations. We made ravioli for Christmas dinner, made mincemeat pies and block printed cards (new traditions in the making), and rekindled an old tradition from our newly-wed years of making a gingerbread house. Traditions are really sweet unless they become a burden and you are just doing them to check them off a list!


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I read each and every one, and truly enjoy "conversations" with you! ~Sally

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