Most families have holiday traditions handed down through the generations. Many of these come to us from our parents and grandparents. Then we often combine them for our children, plus add customs of our own.
These are treasured memories to record for yourself and for future generations. Often you’re the only one who remembers the stories told to you by relatives.
*Begin a Christmas Journal in which you record the various memories.
*Look for pictures of Christmas past and photos of relatives who attended these festivities.
*Place these photos on CDs and make copies for family members. These make nice gifts.
*Start a scrapbook of holiday stories and photos.
Consider Your Parents’ Traditions
When considering my parents’ traditions, I remember they grew up celebrating Christmas differently. So we had a medley of customs, resulting in an expanded holiday for us children.
Mother’s family opened their gifts on Christmas Eve, then had their big dinner Christmas Day with relatives often visiting. Father’s family had their gifts on Christmas morning.
So they compromised. Mother let us open one gift the night before Christmas, and we enjoyed the remainder the next morning…after Father and the hired man milked the cows and ate breakfast. (That was such a long wait.)
We always let our daughter open one gift on Christmas Eve, and she’s carried out that tradition with her children. What traditions have you carried on or combined?
We generally had roast chicken for Christmas dinner because we raised chickens on our dairy farm and sold eggs commercially. Turkey was a special treat.
Nowadays we often have roast beef for our Christmas dinners. To accompany this, our daughter makes YORKSHIRE PUDDING, a dish her children enjoy, which she learned about when in England as an exchange student.
Actually she has adapted a POPOVER recipe and makes individual servings, baking them in a muffin tin instead of with the meat drippings.
Beat 2 eggs slightly. Then add remaining ingredients (1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup milk, ½ teaspoon salt) and beat until just smooth, making sure you don’t overbeat.
Fill a well-greased six-cup popover pan, six small custard cups, or stoneware muffin pan about ½ full. Bake in preheated 450 degree F. oven for 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. and bake about 20 minutes more until they’re a golden brown. Remove from cups immediately and serve.
(Beth doubles the recipe, making 12 popovers. You also can spoon gravy or meat drippings over them individually, if you like them this way.)
©2008 Mary Emma Allen
(Mary Emma enjoys researching family food customs and holiday traditions. Visit her at: www.quiltingandpatchwork.com and http://tea-time-notes.blogspot.com )