In my family, we have traditions that we carry out year after year. Like we all go to have our picture taken with Santa—and I mean ALL of us, not just the little ones. Our entire family and any visitors all meet up at the mall and we have our picture taken. I have pictures of my mom, my dad, even my grandmother sitting on Santa’s lap.
We also have a tradition of fun presents at the Craig house. You see, at gift opening time, we sit in a big circle and take turns opening gifts. Every present has a clue written on it and before a person can open a gift, he or she has to read the clue and try to figure out what it is. If stumped, everyone will join in and try to guess. And I admit, the crazier the clue is the better the time we have. So, in addition to the real gifts, we actually go out and buy crazy gifts so we can have some crazy, crack-you-up-laughing clues. So there’s lots of laughter.
We can’t talk the holidays or tradition without talking about food. Gathering around a table and eating the food that has been part of the holiday season before some of the family members were born. For our house, the main course is always the turkey and dressing. That’s dressing, not stuffing. And that’s cornbread dressing. (My mouth is watering just thinking about it.)
I’ll dropkick, go ballistic or have a conniption fit if any oyster or fancy sausage even thinks of trying to sneak into my dressing. We’ve got southern standards, steeped in Alabama law (yes that’s where I’m from) of what does and doesn’t belong in dressing.
There’s fresh green beans, and because my granddaughter loves peas, but isn’t a green bean fan, peas have found their way onto our holiday table. That said, my son-in-law and hubby despise peas, so the joke is always to keep passing them their way. “Hey, you didn’t get any peas.”
Mashed taters, whipped with real butter, is a regular. White rolls and gravy is a must. And yes we are soppers, meaning we use those rolls to sop up the gravy. I know in some fancy restaurants where you get confused what fork and knife to use, it might be bad-mannered to sop. But you get one fork with your holiday dinner at the Craig house and sopping is allowed.
What are your favorite family traditions? Do you always serve the same food? Are you soppers? Do you put oysters or sausage in your dressing? Do you go Caroling? Maybe go to church? What are your holiday traditions?