A lot of people have traditions around different holidays. We do too, but they have morphed a lot since I was a child.

Growing up, presents were not touched until Christmas morning. Daddy’s rule and it wasn’t even a discussion. Now I never peeked, but I have discovered after all these years that my little sister wasn’t as honorable (yeah I know you peeked!)

Daddy would turn on the movie lights to let us know when we could enter the living room Christmas morning – yeah those big lights for 8 mm film (for the younger people reading, don’t worry about it) It was so bright you could barely see and made everything magical.

We didn’t have a lot of time with our presents. My grandparents lived about an hour away and Grandmother wouldn’t let Granddaddy open anything until we got there. He’d be on the phone wondering where we were if we were late. The aunt and uncle who lived next door to G&G had three kids, so we always saw them for Christmas.

As we got older, things did evolve. Grandmother lived long enough to meet our son, but we didn’t see her every Christmas after we got married. We had to travel around the state, so a new tradition was formed. Christmas Eve was spent with my in-laws and on alternate years we’d go to my parents. The other years they’d come to us. As it worked out, all of our kids got to spend their first Christmas without traveling (not that they remember that).


Things have changed again with our kids growing up and moving to their homes. Now we see La Daughter either mid-December or early January when she’s available from whatever production she’s stage managing and spend Christmas Eve and morning with El Son and DIL and, of course, the grandson. Then head to my sister’s house for dinner Christmas night.


It’s a lot of traveling, but it’s easier for us. We’re both retired and have more freedom of movement. I can always write in the car or in the mornings before everyone else is up. Maybe not well, but I can do it.

Another tradition is the ornaments I make for the roommates – can’t show this year’s yet, but here’s some of my past efforts. I love doing the counted cross-stitch and it definitely keeps me from snacking.


What your favorite traditions? Share them and also enter my Rafflecopter for a giveaway of some copies of A Collection of Christmas Stories. (And keep an eye out for my new series that will start in January!)


Merry Whatever you celebrate and stay safe!!

7 thoughts on “Traditions

  1. Wow, my Christmas has changed so much over the years. As a young child we tried to be in NC for Christmas. The few we were not just wasn’t the same. When we moved to NC, Christmas Eve was the church Christmas play then a late supper with my aunt Martha. Due to alcohol consumption, mom nixed that and it was moved to New Year’s. With my children we continued the Christmas Eve plays, but in the past few years we’ve begun celebrating Christmas Eve with the in-laws with a themed cover dish dinner after I close the store. Christmas Day is a parade of grandchildren and children at my house. The oldest and youngest have Santa with me. The others come as they can. We have six sons and have gotten too big for a single Christmas morning. Our Christmas usually takes a couple of days.

  2. My first professionally published writing was the description of a family Christmas tradition, submitted when I was 13 to a women’s magazine. (I can’t remember which magazine, which is ungrateful of me, because they sent me a check for $25! They even asked for a snapshot of one of the celebrations, which they published alongside the essay.)
    I described how our large family (7 children) exchanged gifts three times–the girl children would fill stockings for St. Nick’s feastday each December 6; the grown-ups put their gifts under the tree on December 25; and the little boys filled our slippers on January 6, the feast of the Magi. We kids had very little pocket money, so the gifts were hand-made or hand-me-down or purchased at the dime store, and those humble items would have gotten lost in the tissue paper on “regular” Christmas. But the bookmarks and hand-sewn doll dresses and hair clips took the spotlight on our special days. (Oh, Mom–I never thought to ask what you did with all those dark blue bottles of Evening in Paris cologne!)

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