Since Christmas is only 3 days away, we wanted to share each of our favorite Christmas traditions. We pray that you have a blessed holiday filled with quality time with the ones you love most!
Kandyce – Tamale Dinner
Most people have a hard time believing that I am Mexican. I know I don’t look like a have a bit of Mexican in me, but I promise, my Grandma Rodgers (Dad’s mama) is from Tampico, Mexico. She moved to the United States when she was two years old. I don’t know much about my Mexican heritage but we have carried on one very important tradition — homemade tamales.
Every Christmas Eve, my Dad makes over 100 homemade tamales for the family to eat. This year, we have about 35 people coming over to Dad’s to celebrate Christmas, fiesta style. He starts the tamale process about a week before the celebration. He first makes his meat and then a couple of days later he assembles them. It’s an all day job! Last year Chase (my little brother) and I helped him. The year before that, him and Mom made them together — a memory he is so thankful for. And this year, He showed Diana (his new wife) the ropes!
The tamale tradition is more than just a dinner tradition, it’s the memories we have created around the tamales. I am so thankful that my Dad started and has carried on this tradition that he passed down from his mama and I now get to share with my sweet baby girl.
Blakely – Amish Friendship Bread
My college roommate’s mom made the most delicious bread for us our freshman year of college – thank you, Mrs. Christopher! Ever since then, I have been dying to know the recipe! This is no ordinary treat and is hard to describe the magnitude of it’s deliciousness with mere words. I know this sounds a bit dramatic but once you have it, you will understand. I finally got the recipe this year and have made it for every person I know. You receive a starter from a friend that multiplies into 4 after 10 days. You can keep one for yourself and give 3 away. Giving the bread with the starter is my newest (& most delicious) tradition. The catch is, someone has to give you the starter before you can make it – hence the friendship bread. (However, I did give it a google and found the recipe for the starter and the bread.)
Alice – Christmas Lights
Growing up, my family had several traditions surrounding Christmas Eve. Looking back, we were kind of a tradition-overload family. We would always do dinner at home starting with the lighting of the Advent wreath, Christmas Eve service at a small country church called Bethlehem, and a late-night frenzy wrapping gifts with “A Christmas Story” playing in the background. Since getting married, however, it is very seldom that my family has everyone together for Christmas. Ben’s family, with traditions of their own, has similarly found themselves spread across the country during the holidays. So our traditions have had to evolve and adapt with our hectic yet wonderful lives.
For the last few years, going around to look at Christmas lights as a family has been a favorite tradition. When we are in Texas, it is often warm enough for us to bundle into the back of a pick-up in our PJs with hot chocolate (or Baskin Robbins) in hand and cruise around to the brightest of the neighborhood. We sing carols and point out our favorite houses — laughing all the way!
In 2016, I put together a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt print-out for families everywhere to enjoy. This year I’ve included it again for download along with a new version for 2017 — a little more difficult for those with an extra competitive Christmas spirit. Research in your city for the best spots to go light viewing. And if you’re in Oklahoma City, make sure you stop by the incredible display at Miranda Family Lights. Yes, they have their own Facebook! It’s THAT good. (19544 Talavera Ln. Edmond, Oklahoma 73012) You may just check off a couple boxes on your Scavenger Hunt while you’re there!
Scavenger Hunt Print-Out 2016: perfect for fun with the kiddos!
Scavenger Hunt Print-Out 2017: a little more challenging (and exciting!)