Wednesday, December 1, 2010

12 Days of Christmas...Day 2


Slip on over to The Blessed Life and link up!

Today's topic...

Christmas Traditions

Wow, where to begin? We have TONS of Christmas traditions around here. I guess I'll simply share some of our favorites and I'm warning you...this list could be LONG! ; )

Christmas just wouldn't be the same without certain foods. I'm sure every family has their own list of favorites but I doubt that any of them are much stranger than ours...

Christmas Eve is a time for finger foods and everyone's favorite 'party foods'. We have sausage balls, meatballs, Lil' Smokies, relish trays, Chex Mix, etc. We like to snack while playing games, asking Christmas trivia questions and just 'hanging out'. And we absolutely MUST have Christmas punch. My Mom has made the punch for as long as I can remember but now that my branch of the family tree doesn't travel all the way home on Christmas Eve, the responsibility has fallen to me. It's a simple concoction, nothing fancy or difficult, but to us it means Christmas. :) I'll share the recipe in Kelli's Kitchen before the month is out.

Christmas Day is when we have our actual Christmas dinner and we have never had the traditional turkey or ham sit-down dinner. Instead, I use my electric roaster to cook up a large beef roast with lots of potatoes, carrots and onions. We have a salad and hot bread along with it and it makes a simple but delicious meal without spending hours upon hours fretting over meal prep.

But we all know that Christmas dinner can't happen until sometime after Christmas breakfast, and that's the meal we most look forward to on Christmas Day! I bake up a couple dozen of my yummy homemade blueberry muffins with streusel topping and also a batch of my Daddy's oyster stew. Daddy made the BEST oyster stew. I don't know how it started, but every year on Christmas morning he made a batch, so I grew up with that tradition. When I married The Hubster he thought I was nuts to insist that we have oyster stew for breakfast any day of the year, let alone on Christmas! But I had to pick up where Daddy left off because it just wasn't Christmas without it. : ) I'll post the oyster stew recipe this month, too.

And of course there are the sweets. Lots and lots of sweets. You can see just a small sampling of what I mean by clicking here. (There are lots of pics in that post and they aren't all food pics, but scroll through and you'll see some of the things Brie and I make each year.) I usually bake at least 6 or 7 different types of cookies, not to mention all the other dishes we love and absolutely MUST have.

Right about now you're thinking "All that girl DOES is EAT!" But we do have a few traditions that don't involve food. Really. Actually, my favorite tradition doesn't involve food at all. : )

Every night of December we read a Christmas story. Last December I posted each day about the book we were reading that night. We read pretty much the same books/stories each year, but I do pick up at least one new book each year. I wrote about this year's new addition here. : )

And last, but certainly not least, we do what we can to spread the cheer by helping out a family less fortunate than our own. I want my kids to grow up knowing that they have the ability to make a difference; that no matter how bad things may be at the time, there is always someone else having an even tougher time than they are. That's another lesson learned from my Daddy. : )

I'm going to stop now, before this turns into a book. ; ) Go link up and share your Christmas traditions with us, too! : )