Q of the W: What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

Does your family string popcorn for your tree every year? Or maybe you and your siblings pile in the minivan for a 10-hour drive to grandma’s? What’s the one holiday tradition you can’t do without?

Melissa: Christmas is a time where my  family along with many other families all over the world come together to celebrate the birth of Christ. Every Christmas morning my family gathers  together before any gifts are opened and we read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke. We dicuss what Jesus’s birth means to each of us and how he is the best gift any of us could ever recieve on Christmas! I love that part of Christmas day and Christmas would not be the same without that special time.

Ray: Every Christmas Eve, we make white sauce with fish and we eat it with mashed potatoes and peas.  It’s a tradition from my Irish ancestors.  It’s supposed to represent the fast before the feast, but it is still delicious.

Maddie: Every year, my sister and I used to make an advent calendar for my parents.  Unfortunately, I think this tradition has officially died this year, along with the tradition of having a Christmas tree.  We’re using a dress form, which we have covered in tinsel.  I thought I would miss the ornaments and tree, but I honestly don’t.  A mannequin is infinitely more pizzazz-y than an evergreen.

Usha: For as long as I can remember, every Christmas Day in my family starts with my brothers and I waiting until a decent hour of the morning to wake up our parents and open presents. However, the best part of the day comes later, when we go to see our relatives, which uses to mean a second round of presents lots of good food. We’re older now, but now I look forward to seeing my relatives for a different reason: to spend time together. When I was little, I took for granted how fortunate our family is to spend the holidays together, so now, I want to cherish this tradition while it lasts.

Haley: One of my favorite Christmas traditions is one that just originated three years ago, when my friends and I decided to plan a progressive dinner. A progressive dinner is a dinner party in which each successive course is eaten at a different house. Since there are five of us total, each year we rotate the roles of drink, appetizer, salad, main course, and dessert. In addition to the dinner, we also exchange names for a “pollyana” gift. Then, at each house the hostess gives out the gift she bought to her “pollyana.” What makes this fun is that you know at some point in the night, you will receive a gift, but you don’t know who it will be from or when you will receive it.

Kiah: Well, Haley beat me to it. As explained above- I also look forward to the “progressive dinner” that my friends and I have each year (Haley included). Although, I have two family traditions that also seem to stand out. Each year, my family and I go to Longwood Gardens during the Christmas season. My grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousins and immediate family members make the haul out to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, which is only a short distance from Philadelphia and the Delaware border. There, we spend an evening walking around the beautifully lit walkways and enchanted looking greenhouses and treehouses. Longwood Gardens is spectacular at any time of the year, but for as long as I can remember, we have consistently gone at Christmas. Another memorable family tradition is baking cookies with my grandma. Each year, we spend an afternoon over break rolling out and decorating gingerbread cookies, along with baking many other types of cookies.

About Leigh Zaleski

I'm a health features reporter for the York Daily Record/Sunday News and healthy living blogger for No Sweat, York. Contact me with story ideas at lzaleski@ydr.com, 717-771-2101 or @leighzaleski on Twitter.
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