Traditions. Everyone has them, and they come at all times of the year, whether it means you go to the same restaurant for dinner every year for your birthday or your family has an annual vacation spot you flock to year after year. Those traditions – they all give us some level of comfort, but holiday traditions, for me, those are the ones that are especially comforting. Of course as we grow older our traditions evolve, but the foundation of ours has always stayed the same.
As a kid we’d go over to my grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve, open presents and go to midnight mass. We’d groggily make the trek back to our house after church and get tucked in our beds, eagerly anticipating the crack of dawn so we could see what gifts Santa brought us. Santa always left our “bigger” gifts out, unwrapped, and it was always so exhilarating to peek down the steps from my bedroom to see if I’d received what I asked for. After my brother finally woke up we’d inspect our gifts, then open presents from our Mom and Dad. Although, we do things a little differently in my family; since there were only four of us, we’d all take turns opening gifts one by one, so we could see what everyone received, it’s a tradition that’s stuck over the years – plus it makes the gift unwrapping last infinitely longer.
After gifts – stockings! This has become one of my favorite parts of Christmas morning, the stocking, while small in size, holds all kinds of goodies like small pieces of jewelry, ornaments, my favorite lip glosses, CHOCOLATE, and pretty much anything you can imagine that happens to pocket-sized.
Once all the presents are unwrapped, and the stockings are emptied, we take a picture from upstairs to document the mess, and then breakfast is served. The main event for breakfast can change from year to year, but the meal always starts with this fruit slush. I’m not even sure when or why my Mom starting making it, and it seems kind of odd to have a slush in the midst of winter, but we all love it, and it wouldn’t be Christmas morning without it.
It couldn’t be easier to make. Frozen orange and lemonade concentrate are mixed together with crushed pineapple, frozen strawberries and fresh banana slices. It’s popped into the freezer until “slush-like” and then ladled into pretty dessert glasses. So simple. So delicious.
The rest of the morning is spent being lazy, until we all finally get the motivation to get out of our pajamas and make ourselves look presentable. My Mom and I prepare Christmas dinner for the better part of the afternoon while the guys are put to work assembling and setting up gifts. Around 3-4pm, we have fancy appetizers and then all sit down at the table for a fancy dinner.
And just like that, Christmas is over.
While we don’t receive “Santa” gifts anymore or torture ourselves with midnight mass, the important traditions, those are the ones that have stuck over time. What are your holiday traditions??
I hope you all have a lovely Christmas, I’m taking the rest of the week off to relax and celebrate the holidays with my family, and I hope you all do the same!