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Updated by goffjess on Nov 20, 2018
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Top 5 Christmas Traditions You'll Love

Here is a list of our top 5 Christmas Traditions that we have enjoyed throughout the years.

1

"The Sleepover"

"The Sleepover"

We did this by having the entire family come and spend Christmas Eve with us and staying the night; the family consisted of 13 in the earlier years to 16 as it grew. Every room in the house was filled with Christmas cheer and excitement throughout the night. The upstairs banister rail was covered in garland with a stocking for each family member . The evening resulted in quality family time and fantastic food! The laughter lingered when we would gather around the TV and watch our video recordings of when we were all younger. It was also a time for long conversations and the opportunity to get caught up with some of our family members we haven't seen much the past year. Many of the activities consisted of board games, playing billiards, ping pong tournaments, musical performances by the more talented family members, and the sharing of the reason for the season, baby Jesus' birth. And, even though it's been several years since we have had "The Sleepover", the memories remain with each of us and we continue to reminisce and cherish those special traditions.

2

Incredible food

Incredible food

One of our all time favorite comfort foods included a large pot of homemade potato and broccoli cheese soup to be enjoyed on Christmas Eve.
Our recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

6 medium to large potatoes peeled and cubed

2 cubes of chicken bouillon

1 medium onion diced

2 medium sized carrots grated

1 bag of chopped frozen broccoli

1 pound of Velveeta cheese cubed

Salt & pepper to taste

In a 6 quart stock pot add potatoes, onions, carrots, broccoli, and bouillon cubes. Add water until covering ingredients by about 1/4". Bring to a gentle boil and cook until potatoes are done but still firm. Switch heat setting to low and add Velveeta cheese and cover. Just a side note: if you would like for it to be thicker or creamier, you can add more Velveeta cheese. Stir occasionally until cheese is melted and blended in. To make it even yummier, serve with cornbread, crackers, or a good artisan bread!

When I look back, I can't believe we would think of having a big spread for breakfast when Christmas dinner was just a few hours away but the children woke up before sunrise all wide eyed with excitement! I remember the coffee pot performed at maximum capacity that day. Papa, Jess, loved to make breakfast. He served up homemade waffles, southern style biscuits and to this day, now our grandchildren's favorite dish, his homemade biscuits and sausage gravy.

Christmas dinner was aimed for 1 o'clock in the afternoon. We tried several options, such as: traditional ham, smoked turkey, or baked turkey. The side dishes were always endless with some of our favorites being Aunt Judy's bacon wrapped green beans, Aunt Glenda's 7up salad, sweet potato casserole smothered in marshmallows, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, and who could forget Grandma Della's homemade pies-apple, peach, cherry, and pumpkin!

3

Christmas morning

All in our pajamas, we gathered together from a very short night of rest to watch the children spread out onto the living room floor and open their presents. So much joy, excitement and gasps of surprise as they opened their gifts. In the corner, the video camera propped up on the tripod to capture yet one more year of unforgettable memories of togetherness. Our gift giving traditions were economical and memorable. For the younger children, the boys brought a$10 boy gift and girls brought a $10 girl gift and the adults would begin singing a Christmas carol. The boys were circled up and the girls were circled up and as long as the song went, they passed the wrapped gifts around in their circle and when the song ended, the gift in their hand was theirs to keep. As adults, we each brought a gift of a $50 limit and played Dirty Santa. I believe we put a twist on the rules each year to keep it interesting.

4

Christmas Afternoon

Nap, what did you expect? With all that tasty food now digesting its time to turn on a football game and do what we learned in kindergarten, nap! But on a serious side one of the things we have done at this time is go to a movie together. After all its a great time as there are always some new releases available and a little popcorn is just the ticket as at this point eating a large meal is highly unlikely. Afterwards its back home for the traditional watching of some of our all time favorite Christmas movies such as these classics, Home Alone, A Christmas Story, and Christmas Vacation. Enjoy the trailer below.Enjoy this trailer

5

Serving others

This is a great time to take part in your community by reaching out and serving others that may not be having such a great Christmas. We have contacted the local jail and prepared meals for the inmates. There are various other church groups that are always reaching out to those less fortunate. The Salvation Army is another great organization. One year we had a contact we had made previously in another state that operated an orphanage and one of the local support groups that provides clothing and toys for underprivileged children had several gift bags that were left over. We loaded them up and delivered them to some kids that were very appreciative. There is no better feeling of satisfaction than when you reach out and serve others.