When my nephews were little, I suggest to my mom that we have a cookie baking day. Many hands making light work and all. Between us we had four households and I thought if we all worked together we could have a great variety of treats without all the work and without having cookies until summer. This suggestion was a hit and for the next several years we got together one day of the holiday season and baked up a storm, while catching up, playing with the boys, and eating chili, which my mom made every year to balance out the amount of sugar we were eating. I treasure the memories of those days. Over time the tradition ended though. I went overseas for a few years. The boys grew up (as you can tell by the picture of oldest nephew and my mom.) It’s sad to see these things end, but it does mean they can be replaced with new traditions.
My sister-in-law has a large and close knit family who all live about an hour from my family so every Christmas Eve, my mother goes with her and my brother to her aunt’s house for a massive feast. There’s ham from one of the aunt’s pigs and a white elephant gift exchange. Dinner is served buffet style on their long kitchen island and everyone sits at one of the four six foot tables set up in the dining room for the occasion. I went along the year I stayed with my mom after coming home from Abu Dhabi and before I bought my house. I stole my siser-in-law’s aunt’s house for the Kohlers in the Weaver’s Circle books. I loved that house and the area that it sat in. The scenery was absolutely beautiful as we drove there and back on that snowy Christmas Eve.
My personal traditions usually involve a lot of Christmas movies and specials as I’m tucked up snug in my bed. I don’t do much baking because if I bake it, I’ll eat it. I also end up doing a recitation of some part of A Christmas Carol at my work because every year a couple of the students end up reading it. then on Christmas Day I go to my sister’s house where my family and her in-laws all gather. We eat and catch up and usually watch a movie. It’s peaceful and quiet, which is how I like my Christmases.