Favorite Holiday Traditions
Christmas is right around the corner and I’m almost as giddy as my kids. We’re a family of Christmas lovers. Christmas music in October doesn’t irritate us. We say, “Bring it!” I’m practically a professional shopper so those pushy, crazed mall crowds don’t deter me; I can whip through a list for twelve different people in a flash. And the Christmas movies…what’s not to love? Even my son will binge watch Hallmark Christmas specials with me. We’re that crazy about the holidays. Here are a few of our family’s favorite traditions:
Iced homemade sugar cookies: At the risk of sounding braggy…I make a damn tasty sugar cookie. They ain’t purty, but the taste makes up for their homeliness. And my kids beg and beg for me to whip these puppies up every year. When they were younger, they’d eagerly jump in and help. Help would be a stretch as I spent hours cleaning flour, sugar, and sprinkles from every nook and cranny in my kitchen. These days, they beg and then make an appearance only when the cookies are done and ready to be gobbled up. Sugar cookies are a Christmas staple for us.
Christmas Eve dinner: When we lived in Miami, Christmas Eve dinner was served up Miami-style. We’d pull out all the stops, setting the table with crystal and silver and my favorite Limoges Christmas china. My kids would light the candles and play Christmas music. And then I’d serve the best meal evah! Starting with she-crab soup followed by fresh salad, crusty hot bread, grilled tenderloin and the piece de la resistance…STONECRABS! Yep. Served with drawn butter and tangy mustard sauce. An incredible treat, and one we didn’t indulge in very often. As my son got bigger, I’d have to order more and more to feed his bottomless pit. And the best part, we’d dine alfresco under the swaying palms, because that’s the way you roll in Miami.
PJ Jingle Party: Our Christmas season highlight is the PJ Jingle party we host the Saturday before Christmas. We invite family, friends and neighbors to join us for breakfast, which usually consist of doughnuts, ham biscuits, fresh fruit, coffee, OJ and Bloody Mary’s for the deserving Santa helpers. Everyone must wear pj’s and each year the cousins get more and more creative, showing up in tacky Christmas sweaters, footed pjs, Rudolph noses and wrapped as packages, wearing shiny red bows. While the adults sit around in flannel pajamas and eat one too many doughnuts and drink another round of Bloodies, the cousins engage in Nerf gun warfare, dividing up in teams, partnering the older ones with the little ones. Over the years, this game has gained in popularity and has become highly competitive and almost as important as family football on Thanksgiving Day. It’s such a hit that the neighbors have started to join the teams; soon there won’t be anyone left to eat the doughnuts. This is cousin love at its finest from the oldest 30-something to the youngest six-year old, the kids have a blast.
What are some of your favorite traditions? The wackier the better!
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