Thursday Thoughts: Traditions

Christmas Eve Gift! No Universal truths today. It’s Christmas Eve so I thought I’d look a bit deeper into my own head and heart today.

We’ll start with my greeting. On Christmas Eve, my mother would answer every phone call, every knock on the door, and greet everyone with “Christmas Eve Gift!” I asked her once why she did that and she just looked at me, baffled. “Because that’s what we do,” she finally answered. I later learned it’s a Southern thing. This should not surprise y’all.

The Christmas Giver Game. Okay, I just made that up because we’ve never really had a name for this tradition. It dates back to the first Christmas Lawyer Guy and I spent away from home, which was our second married Christmas. We were stationed at Ft. Knox, and he decided to stay on duty. We’d invited some troops who were stuck on base for lunch/dinner later on Christmas, along with some of his co-workers in the Trial Defense Office of the JAG unit. We went rather overboard on presents and frankly, I got tired of writing out gift tags from “Me” or “Santa.” I tore all those up and started over by listing the giver as someone/thing that had to do with the gift. For instance, a coffee table book on the Orient Express was from Agatha Christie. As we opened presents on Christmas morning, I made LG guess what his gift was based on the “giver.” The following year, he did the same and we continued it with Only and now her family.

The Christmas Cactus Tree (which has been retired after years of service…) 1995 was a hard year. The Murrah Bombing in April, my dad passing right before New Year’s, our Great Pyrenees pup deciding to eat the Christmas tree… In 1996, my mother took the whole family (my brother and SiL and their two kids), and the three of us to Colorado Springs for Thanksgiving. While we didn’t stay at the Broadmoor, we had Thanksgiving lunch there. There are many Broadmoor stories in the family but I won’t bore you with them. It snowed while we were there and it was lovely and beautiful with all the Christmas lights. We hadn’t gotten around to replacing our tree and while shopping up in Manitou Springs, we found a 3-D cactus made of barb wire and strung with chili pepper lights. It was funny and whimisical and the dang dog couldn’t eat it! So we bought it. Except we’d flown there. Arrangements were made for the cactus tree to be shipped. After many delays and an emergency “fix” of stringing garlands along a beam with lights and the ornaments strung in them, the cactus finally arrived on December 24th. I glued a “tin” sheriff’s star to the top of it and it served us for many, many years.

Those are just a few of our personal Christmas traditions. I won’t get into that whole deal over stockings, full Christmas dinner verses “Get to the good stuff!”, or spaghetti for Christmas Eve dinner while watching Santa on NORAD’s radar! Christmas is a time for family and friends and friends who are family. It a time to remember and rejoice, to look ahead with optimism. It’s lights twinkling in the dark and the wonder in a child’s eyes. From me and mine to you and yours, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, no matter how you celebrate. If you’d like to share some of your own unique tradtions, I’m all ears!

About Silver James

I like walks on the wild side and coffee. Lots of coffee. Warning: My Muse runs with scissors. Author of several award-winning series--Moonstruck, Nightriders MC, The Penumbra Papers, and Red Dirt Royalty (Harlequin Desire) & other books! Purveyor of magic, mystery, mayhem and romance. Lots and lots of romance.
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8 Responses to Thursday Thoughts: Traditions

  1. Reading about your family traditions makes me wish I had more of my own to share. When Owl was still home, we’d do a cookie baking extravaganza – tons of different cookies and at least two kinds of fudge. Afterwards, I’d put them in tins and give them as presents to friends. Owl did that herself for a few years after she left, but now she’s living in dorms where access to cookie making stuffs is iffy. And it’s just the two of us here with few people to give all those cookies to. I definitely don’t need to eat them. ;o)

    Merry Christmas, Silver, to you and to all those you love. :HUGS:

    • Silver James says:

      Traditions can be as simple as putting out extra corn and a salk block for the deer then sitting on the deck and watching them gather while sipping coffee with the Hubs. πŸ˜‰ LG and I used to watch White Chnristmas every year, now we fall asleep before it’s over. 🀣🀣

  2. Kimber says:

    Until I was a sophomore in HS. My parents got divorced after that .Christmas Eve was my Mom’s side, we would have tunafish sandwiches ( my grandmother had her own method of making then none of us could duplicate in later years) And LOTS of cookies, sandtart, molasses,sugar, etc…many recipes handed down. Big tree with goodies.

    Christmas Day was my dad’s side Grandma Geno would make full Turkey Dinner, and what I remembered most was Grandpa Geno Eggnog, they were big drinkers, so I know it had Old Crow and not sure what else?? Red punch bowl and glasses to match.😊 I still drink Eggnog on Christmas Eve and Day, thou mine is non alcoholic.

    My Christmas Eve ritual now is going to the Cemetery and wishing Bran Bum ( my mom’s mom) a Merry Christmas πŸŽ„ she was my everything.
    So that is some of my memories.
    Merry Christmas to You and Yours Silver πŸŽ„πŸŽ„, and stay safe

  3. Janet says:

    Love these memories and traditions, Silver πŸ™‚ Ron and I have always, from our first Christmas together, thrown down the air mattress in the living room and watched Christmas movies (White Christmas, A Christmas Carol, etc) until we fall asleep. The past couple of years, we’ve taken on the tradition of watching the entire Harry Potter series over the holidays.
    Merry Christmas to your family from ours. xx

    • Silver James says:

      Merry Christmas to you and Ron, Janet! LG and I used to watch White Christmas every Christmas Eve. Now we fall asleep before the end. Ah, the joys of getting old. LOLOL πŸŽ„πŸŽ„πŸŽ„

  4. bookwyrm217 says:

    Merry Christmas to all of you!! And I remember seeing that Christmas Cactus!!
    Today we would normally be going to NJ to see the grandtwins, drop off presents and make cookies. Then there would be a Santa sighting on the way home, so they would go to bed. Great traditions for Jewish boys!! I will still be wrapping at midnight. Finish cleaning this afternoon. Deciding what we will eat. Xmas is much more relaxed with food than Thanksgiving. I still haven’t sent out cards (some things never change). With all the changes, this is a new year for more relaxed traditions. Kid may be lucky if I wrap anything and don’t just throw Amazon boxes at her!! LOLOL!!

    • Silver James says:

      πŸ˜† Gift bags! Best. Invention. EVER! And yeah, I’m looking forward to just turkey sandwiches tomorrow. Cinnamon rolls for breakfast, turkey sandwhiches with pumpkin and/or pecan pie (I have one each!) for later. Naps. And Hallmark movies. S’all good! Merry Christmas, my friend! πŸŽ„πŸ’•

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