Christmas Traditions

By far one of my favorite times of year is the Holiday season. Christmas is right up there next to Fall with the changing of the leaves and all their crispy glory. Along with this time of year comes family traditions. The Ewings (my family) are dedicated to our traditions and many of my fondest memories from childhood come from these annual rituals.

Apple pie and fudge filling our house with aromas which must be equal to those that are in heaven. Toffee, snowball cookies and spiced pecans fill christmas tins to deliver to neighbors during caroling. The set: Joy to the World, Deck the Halls, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. I always shoved my way to the front of the crowed to hand over the tin of goodies and sing harmony loudly so all could hear.

Lugging 20 boxes of christmas decor out of the basement to dress the house in candles, wreathes, and the prefect real douglas fir - either freshly cut or hand picked from Andersons. Our new plan was then adorned in a very particular order: lights, ornaments, bows, candy canes, and then tinsel.

Carefully picking where each bulb would hang and racing to be the sister who found the smallest ornament among the boxes and getting to hang it way up near the top for all to see.

Placing ornate stockings above the fire place and helping mom get the mantle design just right. Santa sticks on the right, red bulbs on the left.

The first snow. Bundeling up to the point of immobility and then sledding behind the church with friends. Freezing our hineys off and doing things that were way to dangerous for 11 and 12 year olds to be doing unsupervised. By the end of it our faces and feet were always freezing and our little bodies were always sweating from running up and down the snow covered hill.

Going to be awed by the Columbus Zoo lights while at the same time be frozen half to death by mother nature.

Getting our pictures taken with Santa.

Me in the Mickey shirt. Cynthia in the leotard. Yes...my father let us dress ourselves that year.
Even begrudgingly when in High School.

December 24th eating out at Chilis (because it's the only pace open) with extended family after the Christmas eve service. I can still picture the first year we did this when EVERYONE, even Nick who has basically been on tour in Iraq for the last...well forever christmases, was there. This meal is one of those memories that's branded in my mind. So much love and happiness. And what would a Ewing-Oney-Taylor get together be like if there wasn't obnoxious amounts of excessively loud talking and laughter!

Heading home after Chilis to read the Christmas Story from the Bible (the Luke version) and then Grandpapa (or mom, in recent years) reading "The Night Before Christmas."

Setting out the cookies, milk, carrot sticks, and note for Santa and his reindeer and then being shooed "up the golden stairs!" to bed, but really anxiously staying away and giggling away the hours with sisters.

Waking early on Christmas morning to the smell of coffee, sticky buns, and sausage casserole in the kitchen.
It's ok to drool.

Tearing into the stocking to see what Santa brought and preparing for the rest of the day's festivities of eating a meal that is literally the same as thanksgiving, movie watching, puzzle doing, guitar jamming, and game playing.

Now that I'm all grown up, married, and living in Nashville - it's got me thinking about starting some new traditions with my new family. Still holding on  to the cherished ones from child hood, but coming up with new ones to pass on to our children some day. here are a few I've got rolling around in my head:
  • Having a weekly advent reading, candle lighting and meal at home each week between Thanksgiving and New Years. Perhaps with themed meals that carry on as well like build your own pizza night, pork roast and potatoes,  etc. ect. 
  • Sushi on Christmas Eve
  • Giving money to a random stranger
  • Looking at the lights at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel
  • Having a small kids-only tree that they get to decorate however they want
  • Going to the Franklin Parade and Dickens of a Christmas festival.
I would love some more ideas on this. What are your traditions from childhood? Have they changed or have you added new ones now that you're an adult?


  1. Great memories.

    I was thinking we could go see the lights at Gaylord Opryland Hotel when we're down there this year!

  2. my favorite memories are stockings on Christmas morning, FHBC Candle Light Christmas Eve service, and wrapping presents.

  3. I wish blogger had a "like" button like facebook does. I liked this post. Christmas traditions are so much fun!

    A few of ours:
    Putting a baby Jesus or Nativity under the tree, to remind us of the real gift of Christmas.
    Hiding candy canes for the kids to find and then reading "The Legend of the Candy Cane" with them.
    Watching all our favorite Christmas movies - you know, the deep, meaningful ones like Elf and The Grinch!
    Going to a movie at the theatre on Christmas night with Greg's side of the family. Started this one last year and are doing it again. BTW - We all go in our new Christmas jammies.
    A picture ornament for each of the kids. SO glad I started this their first Christmas because I LOVE looking at them each year.
    A ginormous candy cane in the kids' stockings.

    OK, the list could really go on and on. I love Christmas and all the merriment. Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas this year!!!