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Christmas Traditions

With the holidays upon us I have been asked to share my traditions. I never felt like we had the large traditions that some other families had when I was growing up. The one unique Christmas tradition I had as a child was our Christmas Eve meal.  My maternal grandmother was a widow and worked at Payless which now has become Rite Aid. She always worked on Christmas Eve and so was not home to prepare a large dinner. This did not stop her from hosting my parents, brother sister, and me every year at her house with gifts and food. My health-conscious mother was never a big fan of Kentucky fried chicken, and my comfort food-loving father never seemed to get quite as much as he wanted. Every Christmas Eve we celebrated with Kentucky fried chicken, exchanged gifts with my grandmother, and enjoyed cable television.  This was important because we did not have more than three channels at home. It seemed like we were always watching a never-ending James Bond marathon. When I was younger, this was never exciting enough for me. As I’ve gotten older and become a parent myself I have realized that it was just right. We were fortunate and loved, and it was always nice and relaxing. There was never any family drama, and it was simple.  This is exactly what I want for my family today.


Christmas traditions that I enjoy with my kids include making homemade gifts, watching movies at home, ice skating, and Christmas light rides.  Every year we take mason jars and fill them with the dry ingredients needed for a batch of cookies. We decorate them with festive fabric and a note including what ingredients need to be added as well as how to bake them.  This is a fun and inexpensive way to share in the joy of giving without breaking the bank.  Most of the time each jar ends up costing approximately $5. Over the years friends have told me how much they look forward to this gift and knowing this makes me that much happier when we get to deliver them.  We try to gift different recipes but over time we have found our favorites.  These are also nice because they do not have to be made right away. 

This year we harvested our first honey.  We delivered it in small jars marked with our Happy Bee Honey name.  We have some perfecting to do so that the jars are not so sticky, but that did not matter to my ten-year-old or the friends who received it.  Hopefully, we will become a better apiary as we continue to learn the skill. We deliver gifts, look at the lights, and sing Christmas carols.  As my children get older they do not always want to partake in the caroling but we always finish the evening having shared lots of laughter and new memories.

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