The Christmas season traditionally begins for our family on Thanksgiving morning with a wonderful concoction known as wassail. Our particular recipe consists of grapefruit, grape, orange, lemon and pineapple juice, tea, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. We drink it the entire season until we consume the last batch just after Christmas. My husband grew up with this warm drink and since my family lacked holiday traditions, I enjoyed passing this one down to our children.
Our first son came into the world on Christmas Eve, so we strive to focus all our attention on celebrating his birth into the world with his favorite meals that day. My husband has been a pastor for over ten years, however, so we attend our church’s candlelight service before we head out for our son’s dinner celebration and a movie.
Christmas mornings at our house typically start with taking a picture of the children in front of the tree holding their stockings. What fun it’s been to compare the pictures over the years! While the children enjoy their goodies, my husband prepares what has now become our traditional breakfast meal—eggs benedict. I clean up from our meal, and then we gather around the tree where we take turns handing out the gifts. When the children were small, they opened their presents after they located where I hid baby Jesus.
Our Christmas dinners differ from most families. We enjoy the selection of apple, pumpkin and mincemeat pie like many do. However, my husband, connoisseur cook that he is, tickles our palates with different ethnic meals. The year we adopted our youngest daughter from Kazakhstan, he arranged a traditional Russian meal. We’ve eaten Mexican, Italian, and for the first time this year, we may be enjoying Chinese.
The holidays provide a wonderful way to enrich the family time. My children anticipate Christmas for all our special moments shared together. I believe every family benefits when they add their own traditions to the celebration.