Twenty five days remain to binge watch Christmas movies, bake seasonal goodies, and submerge ourselves in holiday cheer. We look forward to our favorite holiday traditions and spend the month of December checking them all off our lists. I asked UA to share their favorite traditions. They have some great ones!
Leslie’s favorite traditions started as a kid with her family. They would go to Christmas Eve church service followed by a fancy dinner with presents. Her family takes turns opening gifts to ensure everyone enjoyed each reaction as people open their gifts. After all of the gifts are opened, it’s time for The Mystery Gift. First round - no clue. Everyone sits in a circle and passes the gift around. Each person gets to shake it, guess, and pass it or if they guess the gift, open it. Next round - 1 clue. This continues until someone guesses correctly. If you win, you get the gift and the honor of choosing the gift for the next year. Christmas morning brings stockings and Santa gifts and The Pickle. Leslie’s grandma, Honey, started The Picle tradition. It is a pickle ornament that is hidden on the tree and the first one to find it on Christmas morning gets a surprise.
One of Kristi’s favorite Christmas traditions started when she was a kid. Santa would visit her house every Christmas Eve and bring her brother and her one present each. It was always so exciting to know Santa took time out of his busy night to visit them personally. The thing she remembers most is that the wrapping paper on the gifts was always so cold...obviously from being on Santa’s sleigh! Last year, Santa visited Kristi’s nephew on Christmas Eve and it was awesome seeing how excited he was and to know that this tradition will carry on in her family for many more years to come!
Stephanie loves getting her extended family together where they hang the exact stockings with their names hand sewn on them that her Nana made many years ago. Her immediate family plans a Christmas Eve slumber party so they can wake up together and see what Santa brought. They also have a Christmas Pickle tradition, whoever finds the Pickle in the tree gets a special pickle prize. On Christmas morning they all take turns playing Santa to hand out gifts, and end up staying in jamies most the day. The secret to their holiday cheer is champagne after coffee!
I can always remember going to church on Christmas Eve, my favorite part of the Christmas Eve church service is singing Silent Night in a candlelit sanctuary.
After church we generally peruse the neighborhood on our way home to admire the Christmas lights. We spend the evening watching Christmas movies and eating shrimp cocktail. Very early Christmas morning the house is filled with The Boss - Bruce Springsteen singing “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” on repeat until everyone wakes up. Once the gifts have been handed out everyone tears into them! While thinking about my favorite holiday traditions I realized how much our family traditions have changed. I also realized how many traditions we have that are planned throughout the holiday season, not just on Christmas.
As it turns out UA loves Christmas and has a ton of traditions:
- Girls Christmas Party where Janelle gets all of the girls together for laughs, gifts, and giving.
- Ladies Christmas Tea at church with Cindy
- Baileys and coffee, Baileys and eggnog, Baileys and everything...
- Ladies Christmas Lunch at Saddle and Sirloin with Maureen
- Christmas Crafting - the crafts may not be great and each year they get easier and easier to make, but they are really fun to do!
- Cookie Exchange Party at The Daniels
- The Country Club Plaza with the plaza lights. They are always so beautiful and never disappoint!
- Susan Snyder’s pecan balls
- Throwing the football in the brisk air
- Sledding, hockey and igloo making
- A roaring fire in the fireplace
- Breaking the Wishbone
- The required holiday movies - Elf, Christmas Story, Love Actually, Home Alone, Christmas Vacation
Speaking of holiday movies, I believe The Prime Minister (aka Hugh Grant) summed up the holiday season best, “If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love is actually all around” — Love Actually (2003)
We hope you all enjoy this holiday season and remember it’s never too late to create some new traditions of your own.