Holiday Traditions

Every family has them, those holiday traditions that we all look forward to year after year. Some traditions have been passed down from generation to generation, others become part of our lives when families join together through marriage, and then there are the new ideas that we incorporate into our worlds.

For my family, Christmastime wouldn't be complete without our annual Christmas cookie baking day. Every year, my mom, sister and I get together to make dozens of cookies. Buckeyes, chocolate crinkles, creme de menthe bars...you name it! We wear dorky aprons, put on some festive tunes, and drink wine as the mixers swirl and cookies start piling up out of the oven. As a little girl, it's something I remember my grandma doing in her own kitchen. We make trays of cookies to give to neighbors and bring to parties. Our kids and husbands are part of the action now too. They happily help decorate sugar cookies in a rainbow of frosting colors. It's an all day event and we always walk away with some amazing memories.

After I married into Ted's family, I was lucky enough to experience some new traditions. Every Christmas Eve, his family whips up yummy oyster stew and clam chowder. It's the perfect way to cut through the chill of winter! For dessert, we all get together to make a chocolate Yule Log. It's a lot of fun to see how the log turns out from year to year. We usually let my artistically gifted brother-in-law, Ben, take the reins to make sure it looks good! A fairly new tradition with my in-laws started only a few years ago. One morning during holiday break, we all drink mimosas and make something we've grown to call "It's a Wonderful Breakfast." (You guessed it...the name stems from how much we all enjoy the movie "It's a Wonderful Life.") The Eggs Benedict breakfast always generates great conversation and helps us appreciate family time.

Once Brody arrived, we started our own traditions in the Uelk's lodge. Brody loves tracking down our"Elf on the Shelf", Buddy, every day. It really made him smile when he found him in the fridge one morning! Ted, Brody, and I also exchange a new Christmas ornament every year to remember the occasion. Some of our friends hide a "pickle" ornament in their tree for good luck. We may try that out for fun this year!

What are some of your family's favorite holiday traditions? I'd love to read about them. I'm looking forward to passing down our holiday traditions to Brody. Hopefully, he'll embrace and love them as much as I do!

About the Author...
Kristina Uelk
Kristina Uelk is the host of MomsEveryday in Michiana.

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