This month on my blog I’m sharing holiday traditions, mine and other people’s as well. This is the second of those posts, you can find the first, entitled Giftmas Cards (and subsequent ones) by visiting the main page, here. Happy Ho Ho!
by Reb Kreyling
I’m in a unique situation with my family; I take blended to a whole new level. Not only am I a child of divorced parents but my mother remarried when I was a child and I have siblings from another country so we’ve adopted their traditions as well.
When my mother was a child, her uncle lived in Japan so they began receiving packages long before Christmas. Her parents placed the presents under the tree and my mother and her siblings would see those packages every day. So my grandparents thought of “Little Christmas”. On the 23rd of December, my aunts, uncle, and mom were allowed to open one present. Then on Christmas Eve, they were allowed to open another present. The present they picked needed to be one from someone who lived far away, but other than that, they could open any present.
My mother started this tradition with me when I was a child since many of our family members lived far from us while I was growing up. As I was a child, I looked forward to Little Christmas Eve, not just because I got to open a present, but because my mom would let me choose a present for her and my step-mom to also open.
When my step-mom was a kid, her mom often baked all of their bread since there were eight of them. For Christmas, she made a special bread. It was a Norwegian sweet bread that I believe her mother made. As a special treat, she shaped it as Christmas trees. The bread was then frosted and decorated with candied fruit, sprinkles, and other sweets (gumdrops and the like). After opening presents on Christmas morning, we’d have a big breakfast with the bread as part of it.
Special events—births, marriages, someone joining the family—is almost always commemorated with an ornament in my family. The weekend after Thanksgiving (unless something interferes like a move or something else), we begin decorating for the Christmas season. Our decorations are not taken down until after January 10th which was my grandfather’s birthday.
My youngest siblings are Vietnamese so as a family we celebrate TET or Vietnamese New Year. We don’t do anything huge, but we do make Pho. We played games when the kids were younger and the youngest child (my little sister) got good luck money for the New Year.
Bio: Reb Kreyling is a life time writer. She’s been writing for as long as she can remember and always has a notebook with her for that next idea. In her free time, she enjoys listening to Irish music and also uses her writing skills to let soldiers overseas know people back home are thinking of them as part of Soldiers’ Angels. She’s just recently begun blogging at http://rebkreyling.wordpress.com/and is looking forward to self-publishing in the future.