Monday, December 27, 2010


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Does your family have any holiday traditions?

I ask this question a lot during the colder months. I am genuinely interested in hearing the answer, and the stories. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the two warmest holidays of the year, in my opinion, and are meant to be shared.

Chris and I stayed in Ohio for both occasions, and enjoyed participating in other people's traditions. From food, to games, neighborhood lights, pajama pants, and the retelling of family memories.

Since we're usually with one of our families this time of year, we haven't established any traditions of our own. But, I can tell you that my most loved Kelly family traditions included the annual Christmas Eve candlelight service at church, opening presents a day before my friends opened theirs, treat-filled stockings (with a mandarin orange in the toe), Santa's special gift for each of us on Christmas morning, and Lit'l Smokies.

Yes, those cute baby cocktail sausages cooked in plum sauce were a part of most of my Christmases growing up.

Ah, love at first bite.

My sister even honored me at her wedding by having the caterers include a crock of Lit'l Smokies at the reception. How sweet is that? So, true to form, I bought two packages of the Hillshire Farms mini meats and cooked them up for us while we watched a Criminal Minds marathon on TV.

Not to worry, we spent the first part of Christmas with the Sandor/Kemp clan, and were sure to call our families before the day was through.

I suppose there is one tradition that hubby and I can claim as our own: giving and receiving Christmas cards. Having lived in three different states and shared three different churches together, including the communities before we were wed, childhood and family friends, and our relatives, we have collected a number of loved ones over the years. We cherish them all, and celebrating the year's end together in this way is especially meaningful to us.

Upon receipt, we read the sentiments, smile at how big the children are getting, and tape the cards to a chosen wall in the house.

Then, we leave them up until spring.

Last year, we didn't get to display the cards for as many months, because we were preparing for our move to the midwest. So, this year they will adorn the French doors in our dining room and the wall across from the fridge, and we will say a prayer for our dear friends every day.

Don't be surprised if you catch me talking to the photos.

Side note: I found this website listing Christmas traditions from around the world. Maybe it will help you get a head start on next year's celebration.

Happy holidays!

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