Christmas Eve, 1991
The first one after my parents moved to Michigan
Kirsten and Travis, with my niece, Brianna in front.
Ever since my parents moved back to Michigan, 23 years ago, Kirk, Kirsten, Travis and I have been spending most Christmas Eve's with my parents. This has been a tradition for such a long time that when we don't go to my parents home in Portage, Michigan it is odd.
Christmas Eve, 1993
L-R Brianna, Kirsten, Colton, Travis on Grandma's lap with Grandpa standing
The family has changed over the years, but the traditions haven't. My mother, who is an excellent hostess, doesn't feel like she has been successful unless we have a sit down dinner. Her go to Christmas Eve dinner is steak, baked potatoes, green salad, watergate salad (for Travis), strawberry jello salad (for Kirsten) dinner rolls, and homemade Christmas cookies and ice cream for dessert.
One would think you wouldn't serve anything else with all that for dinner, but my mother doesn't think that way. She sets out Christmas m and m's, candy canes, cashews, and peppermint patties in her various Christmas candy dishes. Some years she will have appetizers, shrimp, cheese and crackers, tortilla chips and dip, and more. For years my husband would leave with pains in his shoulder from eating so much. He has learned over the years to pace himself.
Christmas Eve, 2013
One of the years we didn't have a steak dinner, just snacks.
The wings aren't even on the table yet!
The family felt that a sit down dinner was too much work for my mother and we have tried to get her to just go the light snack/appetizer route. My mom feels that is more work than dinner, so she went back to dinner and still has the appetizers. I now know where I get my need to have an abundance of food at holidays.
One of the fun parts of the evening was when my mother grabbed grocery bags and tried to give away all the leftovers. My sister, Nancy, lived in Michigan for awhile and it was funny to watch us put things in each other bags, especially the candy canes.
Kirsten with her 2013 Granddaughter ornament
After dinner, we would open gifts. One of the gifts my parents have given their grandchildren since they were born were Hallmark granddaughter or grandson ornaments. My mom said when they graduated from high school she would stop, then it was age 21, now she says as long as she is alive she will continue to buy them. I think it is a wonderful tradition that her grandchildren will treasure for years to come. I gave my daughter all of her ornaments the year she got married. My tree seemed so bare that year without them. This fall, I took my son's ornaments to him. I think I am going to need to buy more ornaments.
I appreciate that my parents have kept the tradition of our family getting together at their house for Christmas Eve. I have many fond memories of this special time.
Here are a few more pictures of the Glover Christmas Eve tradition through the years.
Sorry, Grandpa we cut you out of it.
The Berry Family
Kirsten with her gifts.
Grandma and Grandpa with the grandchildren.
Pictures in front of the tree are mandatory.
Eventually, my sister and her family moved to Washington
and it was just my family and my parents.
Our son-in-law, Chase, was welcomed into the family.
Then, our soon to be, daughter-in law, Alayna, joined us.
And last but not least, our grand pup, Ella. Her first Christmas there was one to remember. I may have fed her too many treats before we left our house.