It is always interesting to me when we receive contributions from readers who describe traditions that have lasted many generations. As Allison Hart describes below, for many generations they have celebrated Christmas morning with a feast of homemade pancakes and sausage patties. What strikes me about her story, however, is the role that food has in her Christmas traditions: from her mom’s cooking on Christmas Eve, to the breakfast cooked by her Dad, to the feast of leftovers shared with friends. Nothing says Christmas like good food and good friends.
My family has a few traditions for Christmas time. The first is that we celebrate with a huge Christmas Eve dinner. Mom tries every fancy recipe she has collected over the year and we end up with a giant table of food with many courses (and lots of dishes to wash!). Mom also chooses a theme for the decorations- she has everything from Santas to snowmen to antique decorations to angels. So every year there is a different look to the house but we use the same stockings from when we were kids.
“Santa” (aka Dad) washes all the dishes over night when he stops by to drop off the presents (he still does this) and makes the family breakfast. It is a many generation old tradition to have homemade pancakes and sausage patties for breakfast. We open our stockings as soon as we run down the stairs, eat breakfast and then open presents. The order in which we open changes every year (oldest to youngest, vice versa, etc) but we normally try to figure out how to get Mom to open her presents first.
After we clean up, that is IT. Nothing else is cooked that day or done besides watching “The Christmas Story” movie on TV and chatting. Our neighbors have a pot luck Christmas dinner where everyone brings whatever is left over and that is what we all pick from- normally this means your dinner consists of cookies and wine!
Allison Hart, Brooklyn New York
Editor’s Note: Christmas is about Sharing. To this end, we’ve asked for readers to contribute their own Christmas traditions and family stories. By sharing traditions, everyone gets a better understanding about how Christmas is celebrated around the world.