Holiday Traditions

Thanks to Butt to Chair for inspiring this post. Our family did the usual things during the holiday season. When Dad owned his coin-operated machine business, December was the time for the annual company Christmas party where employees and friends were invited for dinner at a fancy restaurant followed by brandy Alexander at Grandma’s house. On Christmas Eve, we ate oyster stew and went caroling to our neighbor’s house in the next block where they had their annual Christmas party. My brother and I went to bed early while our parents waited up for Santa Claus so they could help him unload the loot when he arrived. On Christmas morning, we rose bright and early, and after an exhausting day of opening and enjoying presents, we sat down to a meal of turkey and all the trimmings.

Now that my mother and husband are gone, and most of my relatives are scattered across the country, Christmas has been a quiet affair. This year, Dad and I had Christmas dinner with my uncle and aunt who live here in Sheridan, Wyoming. It was just the four of us, and instead of turkey, we had prime rib. We opened presents and watched White Christmas. We actually had a white Christmas.

In the blog post I linked to above, author Melissa Hart writes about her family’s Christmas Eve tradition of eating in a Chinese restaurant. This reminds me of A Christmas Story, the classic movie about a little boy who wants a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. In the end, after the neighbor’s dogs devour the family’s turkey on Christmas Day, they eat out at a Chinese restaurant where they are served duck and serenaded by immigrants who don’t have the words quite right. Next Christmas, I may travel to Florida to be with my brother and his family, but if for some reason, that doesn’t happen, I’ll see if Dad will go for the Christmas Eve tradition of eating in a Chinese restaurant. If not, I’ll order take-out and watch A Christmas Story. Meanwhile, please feel free to share your family’s holiday traditions below.

 

Abbie Johnson Taylor , Author of We Shall Overcome and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

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