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Christmas Traditions Feel Different This Year


Family traditions often mold and grow as we and our families grow. As a child, Christmas Eve was full of food, laughter, church services. We were allowed to open one gift from our grandparents before dinner and Christmas Eve service, but then the rest remained until after service. When my grandmother died in third grade, the tradition became to eat steamed shrimp as our family meal. 

After my dad's death in high-school and if especially mom worked Christmas Day, Christmas morning was usually spent at the local diner (owned by Greek Orthodox who celebrate Christmas later as they still follow the Julian Calendar), then visiting my great-uncle Lynn and his daughter Nancy. We would then drive around the countryside, reminiscing about my grandfather's Christmases of years past. 

As an adult, I now work in a church and Christmas Eve has always been full of prep, services, and making other family's Christmases feel special. In my early career days, I still tried to go home on Christmas morning. After a couple of years of finishing midnight service and having to be at the airport by 7am, I decided it was not worth it and created my own traditions.

For the past couple of years, I've been absorbed into a new family as they gathered together for brunch on Christmas morning.. including their White Elephant Gift exchange, which is always hilarious! (We are talking close to 30 folks here too!) 

This year, I'm not sure what I'll do because life looks different. That family gathering isn't occurring because they have members with health issues and want to keep everyone safe. Our Christmas Eve services look different, so I won't be getting home at 1:00 AM like I normally do. 

Some of my traditions will remain the same: I'll still watch A Christmas Story, I'll still make Peanut Butter pinwheel candy, and I'll still drive around after church to see luminaries and Christmas lights. Christmas morning I'll sleep in, wake up and call my mom and sister, and open gifts. I have no clue what I'll eat for brunch yet, but there are several options! 

One of my favorites, that's pretty simple, is to make pancakes using a set of Christmas molds I received years ago. Sometimes, if I prep in advance, I'll make an breakfast casserole, but I find as a single gal, that it really isn't worth it make something elaborate because leftovers have never been my things and I don't want to waste food! 

Whatever happens, Christmas will come, I will rest, and 2021 will soon be upon us! 

What are your Christmas morning traditions?

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