Family and the Holidays

Reflecting on family ancestry

It's been a while since my last post with all the usual preparations for the holidays.  It's such a wonderful time of year to reflect on your family ancestry. There are many sources to look up what your family would have done back in the home country or during the American Revolution.  Holiday traditions change a lot over time and space. 

Where do your family traditions come from?

Including holiday traditions in your family ancestry research will also help make the people come alive.  Are you descended from Puritans with their very strict rules on celebrations; meaning there was no presents, decorations, singing or dancing.  Or maybe you're descended from Germanic and Nordic regions and Christmas was a major event?  How have these traditions shaped how you celebrate the holidays?

Our family follows most of my families traditions since I do the planning! In the weeks before Christmas, we have adopted the Shelf Elf tradition.  My Godmother sent it to us.  His name is Toodles Tinga (that's a whole other story).  Toodles Tinga watches the kids everyday and reports back to Santa each night.  When he returns he is in a different place in the living room.  So the kids have to find him every morning.  They compete to see who finds Toodles first.  Even more precious is Toodles gives our oldest the opportunity to "talk" directly to Santa about many things including his brothers bad behavior and what he'd like for Christmas. 

We have German corn chowder (it has bacon as the first ingredient so you know it's good!) and sandwiches on Christmas eve. Then presents are opened after the kitchen is completely cleaned up.  Last year we added an old tradition I'd just learned about; whoever finds the glass pickle ornament hidden in the tree first gets to open the first present.  Opening all the presents is a modification from my mother's family tradition.  Her family opened one present on Christmas eve and the rest in the morning but my sister was so insistent that we changed it to all of them on Christmas eve. 

Santa arrives in the night and delivers a few more presents and stuffs the stockings so the fun continues. Then we have a big, formal Christmas lunch/brunch with prime rib and all the fixings.  Sparkling cider is a wonderful addition to this meal.

Have a wonderful holiday and remember to keep the family in family tradition!

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