Many of us have a favorite Christmas tradition unique to our family. For example, some go to evening vespers, have family reading the Christmas story, sing together, open a present the night before, put out cookies for Santa, have an Elf on the Shelf, bake a special treat, or even hunt or do something else together. What is your family tradition?
We usually put up our tree after Thanksgiving. This year, we have an Advent calendar, and pull a task oriented to helping others (gift for the postman, pray for missonaries) out of a pocket made on the calendar for each day in December. We usually read the Christmas story together before opening presents on Christmas, and then share smaller presents with any cousins in the area at Grandma’s house. The brothers and sisters in law often play Rook and drink coffee or redbush tea (from Zimbabwe, where my brother in law grew up) and everyone eats from an English Tea Ring made by Grandma. Great-Grandma bakes Dutch “banket” (an almond paste filled pastry) only on Christmas and gives a stick to each of the grandchildren. If there is snow, the cousins slide down the dunes near Lake Michigan, which is about 5 miles away. My adopted Korean aunts (Grandpa worked for World Vision during the Korean War) sometimes bring chap chai to share (we haven’t all gotten the hang of kimchi). Grandma prays what we grandchildren think of as a long prayer, and Grandpa’s photo smiles down on us before we all go home in the evening.
I’d be interested in your traditions.