From Clare Schmitt
Only 5 more days until Christmas! I guess I was a little over-excited when I said 5 days yesterday. It was 5 days until Christmas Eve. Our family loves Christmas Eve almost as much as we love Christmas itself. Everyone gets to open one small present when we get back from Mass on Christmas Eve, so as far as my kids are concerned: “4 days until we get a present and 5 days until Jesus is born.” That’s how the countdown goes in our house.
Our family tradition is Mass, and then we make hors d’oeuvres: cheeses and meats plate, olives, dates and other dried fruit, shrimp cocktail and any special requests and my sister and her family come over. They bring Santa Lucia buns . They also bring Montana chili. (Don’t ask me how Montana chili is different from regular chili.) The kids place baby Jesus in the manger, and then we exchange gifts with them, and then after my kids are asleep, we wrap presents, drink some eggnog (or other adult beverage) and I make a crockpot breakfast. This year I’m making this: Loaded Hash Browns.
Christmas morning is just our family, we open presents, have our crockpot breakfast that is ready and waiting when we wake up, we play games (those of us who were up late playing Santa Claus sometimes nod off for a little while) and sing Christmas carols. We put on my old LP of Harry Simeone Chorale’s Sing We Now of Christmas. Beautiful and majestic, the record is not just holiday music; it is beautiful, spiritual Christmas music. Their rendition of O Holy Night is amazing. If you can find a copy, I highly recommend it.
After our trip down memory lane, we tidy up the house and head over to Grandpa and Grandma’s house and have a wonderful feast. Some years its roast, some years turkey or lamb, one year they even made Beef Bourguignon! This year my husband’s aunt and uncle, and a cousin and his family will be joining us. For Christmas at my in-laws their motto is “the more the merrier.” Some years it is very merry indeed! After dinner, we head over to the other Grandpa and Grandma’s house and have dessert and sing more Christmas carols and play cards. Then we come home and give thanks to God for a wonderful day blessed with family and friends, good fellowship, good food, and great fun.
Tell me what your family tradition is on Christmas? If you care to share it on our blog, shoot me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you and I’m sure our readers would love to hear your stories, too.
On behalf of everyone here at Seton, I wish you a faith filled last week of Advent, and pray you have a blessed, joyous Christmas.