Week 51. Holiday Events. Where did your family gather for Christmas or Hanukkah as a child? Which family members and friends attended the event?
Christmas Eve was the time for our family's celebration. Every year we would attend our church's Sunday School Christmas Program and church services. The program never varied over the years. It was the retelling of the Christmas Story. Joseph and Mary, The Manger, Wisemen, and shepherds were the stars of this story. Christmas Carols were sung. The evening ended with ushers passing out paper lunch size sacks filled with shelled peanuts, hard filled Christmas candy, and chocolate drops.
Pre-1966, my mom, dad, sister-Linda, and myself would arrive home to find that Santa had visited while we were in church. Christmas Eve was also special as we were allowed to have pop as a treat. My dad would have to go to the liquor store to purchase it.
My younger sister, Nancy, was born in 1966 and my brother, Neil, in 1968. Christmas Eve traditions continued, pretty much unchanged, until my parents moved to Texas in 1981. We were only able to visit once for Christmas in Texas.
I don't remember ever celebrating Christmas with anyone other than my immediate family. No visit to the grandparent's homes. We lived hours from them and just didn't visit at Christmas.
My husband, children, along with their spouse or significant other, and I still go to my parent's house and celebrate on Christmas Eve. We don't go to the Sunday School program anymore, but we have a family dinner with the opening of gifts afterwards. I don't even want to think about the day when this family tradition changes. I treasure each and every one of them.