I so love the holidays from Thanksgiving right through New Year. It’s a time of family gatherings, celebrating birthdays, meeting old friends for drinks and embracing long held family traditions.
For my family one of the oldest traditions is our Davis Family Christmas party. It all started over sixty years ago when my first cousin Debra Davis Ward was born. My mother’s family is large. And my grandparent’s Lina and Howard Davis wanted to celebrate Christmas with all of their children and grandchildren. (We are now up to great/great grandchildren.) So the Saturday before Christmas is the date we all gather for our family party.
Woven into this tradition are several longstanding ones. First off every year we do a stuffed Piñata for all of the grandchildren under the age of ten. In the past Uncle Paul and Aunt Shirley were in charge of the honor but a few years ago it was handed down to me. We also draw names out of a hat and exchange one gift per person. There is a family Christmas tree that we decorate, too. Everyone brings a pot luck dish to share. Aunt Diane makes her famous molasses cut out cookies. Aunt Marie might make a lasagna or her scrumptious scalloped potatoes. Cousin Tinker can be counted on to make her peanut butter Chex mix dessert.
After dinner is done and the gifts are unwrapped, we close with the most beloved tradition of all; we sing. First up are the Christmas carols selected from the little John Hancock music books which have been carefully kept for years. Afterwards we each delve our hand into an envelope to pick out a tiny square of tissue wrapping paper that marks our part of the Davis Family rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Then we boisterously sing our parts!
|my generation circa 1972 bet you can't pick me out!|
|a portion of my kids' generation circa 1986|
Nothing warms my heart more than when four generations of the Davis Family gather on that special Saturday each year. I’m not sure my grandparents ever envisioned that a tradition they started decades ago would still be growing strong….or maybe they did…
I'd love to hear about your family traditions! Please feel free to share them in the comments section below.