Christmas Traditions and Memories

As I reflect on what Christmas was like when I was a child it brings back a lot of memories and traditions we followed every year. Of course, the biggest tradition I hold dear is having Lutefisk!! I was really the only kid that liked it along with my mom and dad. Even to this day I talk with people who make Lutefisk and I tell them how my mom baked it. If I knew Lutefisk has been boiled, I would NOT eat it because it is like a big bowl of jelly.

Ok onto other traditions. When we got the Christmas boxes out, the 4 of us girls always went to the Nativity Scene. There was always a very prominent place for this. We would all take turns unwrapping each figure and placing it in the proper place in the stall. One thing we all did not like was the fact that baby Jesus and his manger did not get to be put in at the same time. Mom always took the baby Jesus and put him in a cupboard. There he would lay for the next 4 weeks. Of course, it was in a cupboard that we had to access many times through the next 4 weeks. We all wanted to put baby Jesus in the stall on Christmas Eve, but mom would have to finally settle the disagreement and would pick one of us. In addition to the nativity being set up we always had a birthday cake Christmas eve to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

We all knew when mom and dad had gone shopping for Christmas so one year when they were not home my younger sister thought it would be fun to find where they hid the presents. Of course she found them but would not tell us anything. That was the year I learned who Santa Claus was. After everything was said and done, she decided to tell me who Santa was. She proved this to me by showing me that the writing on the package was the same as moms. Boy if that didn’t take the wind out of my sail! Of course, when my kids were growing up, I did the same thing. I am not sure how my kids found out about who Santa was.

Of course, who does not remember all the baking that took place just before Christmas. There was a lot of activity in our kitchen day after day. When it came time to make Fruit Cake (gross!), my dad got involved. See he was the only one strong enough to stir the batter since mom wanted a large amount made in a large container. It was always fun when dad was helping. I just thought it was cool that we had a guy in the kitchen helping. And that guy was my dad. My poor dad lived in a house with 5 females and he, being the lone male was often excluded from most of the baking.

When Christmas was over, we would go through the tradition of taking everything down and putting it in the boxes. Of course, the Nativity set had to have each individual figure wrapped and placed in a special box. It seems like I enjoyed doing this job so I was usually the one who got to do it.

Everything was done and put away until next year when we would go through the same process. Peace of mind fell over the house knowing that it would all be there next year.

Submitted by Carmen Stubbs