Christmas Traditions

Christmas Eve. So much to do and only today to get it done.  This has always been a special day for my family from the food that we eat to the things that we do.  Let’s start with the food – always one of me favorite things.

This was the day my mom would go wild with cooking.  There would be ham baking in the oven.  Fresh and smoked kielbasa would be cooking on the stove top.  My favorite has always been and still is the smoked variety.  My mom would then make some city chicken.  All these great foods cooking, but we couldn’t eat any of them until tomorrow.

We are Byzantine.  One of our church customs is that on Christmas Eve we cannot eat any meat or dairy products.  This was really hard with all of the gook cooking smells permeating the house.  It did, however, make the food really tase delicious when we were finally able to dig in.

When all of the good food was made she would then make something we were able to eat – tasteless mushroom soup!  Can you tell that this is one of my favorite things to eat?  Luckily, my wife and I have found an alternative that we enjoy – salmon, raw fried potatoes, and zucchini. Much better and something to look forward to after a day of fasting.

Today is also the day that my wife and I set aside for wrapping presents.  We don’t do them earlier.  Since we have no children and no one else to wrap for this is not an insurmountable task to do on one day.  Sometime after lunch we will retreat to different bedrooms with a roll of scotch tape, a pack of tissue paper, a stack of empty boxes, and the presents we have bought for each other. turn on Christmas music and wrap til we finish.  The thing is, we know where each other keeps the gifts we bought, but we don’t go looking for them beforehand.  Why ruin a good surprise!

Years ago we went to midnight Mass.  Now we opt for for 7:00 PM or 8:00 tomorrow morning. Let’s face it, I have a difficult time staying awake after 11:00.  

On Christmas day we like to spread out opening presents.  We will open a few after we finish breakfast.  Usually in the afternoon we head to my brother’s place.  It is a gathering spot because my other brother, his wife, and my nephews all meet there.  Since we come together after we have eaten, I usually just bring a dessert of some kind.

After a few hours Kathy and I head home, have a light meal, and finish opening our gifts.  We have found that this is really a nice way to unwind at the end of the day – the two of us, three cats, and a cup of tea.

Merry Christmas to all!


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5 responses to “Christmas Traditions

  1. What lovely traditions. I have to say that I would hate the mushroom soup! But all the other foods sound wonderful. I have also set aside today for wrapping…but it wasn’t intentional! 🙂 Have a Merry Christmas!

  2. Thank you for sharing you family traditions. Those that you grew up in and those you have created. I like the way you retreat to your bedrooms to wrap presents and savor the presents and the surprise on Christmas day. Merry Christmas!

  3. Jaana

    Thank you for sharing! I learned about new traditions; no meat on Christmas Eve! A a Finn, that is when we eat our main dinner. In a little over an hour, family is coming. Everything is almost done! Merry Christmas to you and Kathy!

  4. The traditions of our past meld with traditions of our own. It sounds as if you have developed some excellent traditions. Merry Christmas Bob!

  5. The cup of tea sounds lovely. Enjoy.

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