Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Five: Holiday Traditions

We've made it to Friday, which means that I am officially on winter break from school!  Woo hoo!!  No work until January 6th  :)  I'm looking forward to lots of traveling, family time, and relaxing while I'm off from work.

Since today's Friday, I'm going to continue my newly-started tradition of linking up with the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar) for their Friday Five link-up!
Today's Friday Five topic: Holiday Traditions!  I LOVE Christmas time, and, growing up in a very traditional family, we had many things we'd always do this time of year!  I shared a few of them last week with my favorite winter activities, but here are some of my favorite Christmas-specific traditions:

1. The annual "Stairstep" picture
Last year's picture
On my dad's side of the family, there are a total of 4 grandchildren.  After we open presents each year, we line up from shortest to tallest in front of the Christmas tree for the annual "stairstep" picture.  It's always funny to see the competition over who the tallest is--I held the top spot for a long time (I'm the oldest grandchild) but recently, I've taken a tumble to the bottom.  It's always a fun moment!

2. Attending Christmas Eve candlelight service/Christmas Eve readings
Image Source
Nothing prepares you for Christmas morning better than the candlelight service at church on Christmas Eve.  There is nothing quite like singing "Silent Night" while the sanctuary fills up with candlelight, then raising our candles high and singing "Joy the World"!  I'm getting chills just thinking about it :)

After we got back from the Christmas Eve service and before going to bed, my parents would read my brother and me the Christmas story out of the Bible (usually Luke 2) and the book Twas the Night Before Christmas before going to bed.  Once we got older, Eric and I would each read these two stories.  This tradition still continues, and I really enjoy it!  I hope to continue it with Baby Fish when he/she is born.

3. Doing things for others
One of my favorite things to do to remember the true reason for the season is give to others.  I love doing Operation Christmas Child each year, and there are a variety of other things that Joe and I do to help others during the Christmas season.
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When I was growing up, my family and I did a lot of volunteering around Christmas.  One thing I loved helping with each year was the Salvation Army Angel Tree.  I'd help with the gift distribution days, and the looks on the faces of the parents and kids as they picked up their gifts was priceless!  It brought me so much joy to help out with this awesome organization that helped so many families be able to do something for their kids at Christmas.

4. Eating soup for lunch and watching football on New Year's Day
I don't know how or why this started, but every New Year's Day, my parents, brother, and I eat soup for lunch.  I will tell you, though, that if we try to eat anything else, I do NOT let it happen!  We also spend the day watching all of the college football games together.

This last one is a new-to-me Christmas tradition!  When you get married and join another family, there are a variety of Christmas traditions that you get initiated into.  Here is one of my favorites coming from Joe's family...

5. Joe's grandmother's holiday percolator punch
Every Christmas, Joe's grandmother makes this delicious holiday punch in the percolator every year.  I believe it has cranberry and pineapple juices with lots of spices, and it was warm and delicious!  You will always find the percolator on and family members walking around the house with their mugs of punch throughout the day.  I'm already looking forward to having some when we head there for Christmas this year!

As I celebrate Christmas with Joe's family this year and our family expands for next Christmas, I look forward to continuing these traditions and forming new ones!

Question for you: What are some of your favorite holiday traditions?
I love to hear about how different families celebrate the holidays in different ways!

10 comments:

  1. Christmas Eve candlelight service is something I always look forward to as well. There are over 15 grandchildren in our family so I don't we could all stand still for a pic...haha. -L

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    1. Hahah yeah, we have a very small amount of grandchildren--organizing 15 people for that picture would be HARD!

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  2. I look forward to Christmas Eve service every year too.

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    1. One of my favorite nights of the year for sure!

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  3. We do the stair picture at my in-laws too. All the grandkids plus the grandparents. A tradition!

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    1. Awesome!! Glad we aren't the only family that does it :) Makes for really great pictures year to year!

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  4. Great traditions! I love including service this time of year as well. When I was a kid we did "fleet a foot" were we would put together a basket of gifts for a family that would otherwise not be able to afford Christmas and leave it on their doorstep without being seen. It was one of my favorite traditions growing up :)

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    1. That's such an awesome idea!! How fun :)

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    1. Oh it is :) If I can find the recipe she wrote down for me, I'll share it!

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