From baking cookies and singing carols to volunteering at the local rescue mission, each family celebrates Christmas a little differently. We asked Farm and Dairy readers to share their holiday traditions. Here are their responses, some of which have been edited for length or clarity.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without …
Attending the 11 p.m. Christmas Eve services at New Lisbon Presbyterian church with my son. We come out into the silent night to snow covered ground — the air is crisp, the stars bright — a perfect start to Christmas! The early morning tradition of making and serving Christmas breakfast to many family, friends and neighbors — portabella mushroom sauce on scrambled eggs, fresh berries, champagne punch, bacon, sausage, ham, hashbrowns, cinnamon rolls and muffins — too much, but fun. Making Aunt Jean’s caramels for family, friends and neighbors. Time spent with the little nieces and nephews … looking through their eyes at the lights on the tree, their excitement with Santa’s gift. It tops off the day.
Elizabeth Blocksom Barringer
Christmas is complete when the little kids smile at the old man with the Santa beard as they get on the trailer to pick their real tree. That is truly the family tradition.
Bailey’s Christmas Tree Farm
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without photo ornaments on the tree of our four grandsons every year since they were born.
Karen Cunningham and Leroy Cheuvront
New Cumberland, W. Va.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without hearing Santa Claus and His Old Lady by Cheech and Chong — it always makes me smile!
Janet L. Keene
Commercial Printing Sales Manager
Lyle Printing & Publishing Co., Inc.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without our entire families getting together for the annual Italian tradition of the seven-fish dinner. Besides my feeling of accomplishment each year when the meal is complete, it is mainly the laughter, happiness and love that is felt through the entire house that day.
Our must-have holiday tradition is helping distribute canned goods, food vouchers and presents to local folks through the Salvation Army Mercer Unit.
Jesse, Amy, Rich and Joe Ligo
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the love and support of family and friends — without them it is just another day.
North Lima, Ohio
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without … the Christmas Eve service at Concord Church. For me, it’s not really Christmas until I’ve sang Silent Night by candlelight, surrounded by my family. And just to prove we’re not too mature yet in our 20-something years of age, my siblings and I always try to blow out each others’ candles when we hear the first few notes of Joy to the World.
Beaver Falls, Pa.
Christmas would not be the same if we could not have the family together and bake cookies with the kids.
My real family lives 3,000 miles away so I must have time to spend with the only family I have near, my three cats.
Rev. David Charles Fantone
Grants Pass, Ore.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without … singing all the carols, reading the Christmas story from the Bible and reflecting on the true meaning of the celebration with my family before we open gifts.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without our family donating presents to needy families in our area.
Kristo and Athena Pantelides
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without … attending church to celebrate the birth of Jesus; midnight mass is beautiful!
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without family.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without my family. Being with family is the very best part of Christmas, sharing the real meaning of Christmas with the newest members of the family ,watching everyone open their gifts — the love, the food, the smells, everything about being together makes Christmas the happiest day of the year!
My favorite family tradition is waking up Christmas morning and drinking orange sherbet mixed with orange juice. We have it every year in fancy glasses. It makes a great breakfast drink and is very yummy!
One is making Christmas cookies and the other is Christmas dinner with everyone in the family gathered together!
Reporter, Farm and Dairy
In an Italian family, Christmas Eve is the big night for food and gifts and being with family. Usually starts in the evening and ends with midnight mass … Tradition usually lends itself to a meal of seven fishes, and all other side dishes are meatless. Christmas day dinner is another story. Bring on the meat! In my family it’s usually meat lasagna, ham and every side dish you can think of from sauteed veggies, to antipasto salad, and of course wedding soup! Homemade wine and cookies, cookies, cookies for dessert.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without … listening to the very popular Freddy Quinn German Christmas record.
Mom had been up late wrapping and putting together our gifts. Still she had our feast for breakfast — her “holiday tradition” — a huge wedge of fruit stollen, juicy navel oranges and Canadian bacon — cooked to her taste. She always had a bowl of mixed nuts in the shell, popcorn balls and all sorts of candies, especially her ribbon candy, to munch on.
Sally A. Miller
Berlin Center, Ohio