Christmas Traditions Over the Years
When I was growing up, we had several traditions.
One was attending the Christmas program at our church. The program often was the children performing some version of Christ's birth.
Though most Christian churches today don't have anything to do with Santa Claus, back then, after the Christmas program ended, Santa Claus handed out small stockings with candy in them to every child.
My father worked for Paramount Studio which always had a wonderful Christmas program for the children of the employees, followed by expensive gifts for every child there. I remember some of the events being held way out in the country (now right in the middle of Studio City), and others at a theater in Los Angeles.
I don't remember doing anything special on Christmas Eve, but I do know we were anxious to get to bed then couldn't sleep. Along about 4 a.m. we begged to get up and go into the living room and see what awaited us.
We always had to wait for our parents to dress and allow us to begin the Christmas unwrapping.
Dinner was always at our grandmother's house in South Pasadena. We always wore something we'd received for Christmas--usually a new sweater, even if it was a hot day.
This is where we received her presents and the ones from our Aunt.
Years later, when I was married and had my own family, when possible, we drove down to Los Angeles to have Christmas there.
One Christmas though, I expected my third child and everyone drove to our little rented house in Oxnard for Christmas. I suppose I cooked the dinner, though I don't remember. The baby didn't arrive until December 28th.
When I was working, we had Christmas at our own house--by this time we owned a home. One Christmas I worked a split shift and the kids opened their gifts while I was gone. I wasn't happy. And we ate our Christmas dinner in a restaurant. (The only time I can remember doing that.)
Many years later when we'd moved to Springville, and lived in and ran a care home, we always had a bit of a celebration dinner Christmas Eve--but presents for our ladies were always opened on Christmas Day after we had a great breakfast. And later of course, the whole family came to be in on Christmas dinner.
Now that we've retired from the community care business, we have our big dinner on Christmas Eve--and that's when some of the family come and presents are opened.
The next day all the grown kids (who are now grandparents) have their own traditions. And we eat leftovers. We usually watch movies and relax.
What are your favorite Christmas traditions?