We featured members from our team here at Hole in the Roof and asked them their favorite Christmas memories and traditions!
My family is not very traditional. Every year looks a little different. Similar food, but at different locations. Unexpected visitors and new friends, but the same old family stories from years past. I love Christmas. It’s a time of waiting and expectancy and a constant fighting against the rush of the season to find a moment to slow down and be thankful. Christ came into the world under odd circumstances with many twists and turns leading up to his birth. But even in the chaos, there was still a quiet, intimate moment in a stable where the animals and people stopped to be thankful and give praise. This is what Christmas means to me.
Christmas is my favorite time of the year, it’s my favorite because it means I get to be with my family. Our family tradition, when we are together, is on Christmas Eve I cook dinner, we open one gift, watch a Christmas movie, and enjoy each other’s company. Then on Christmas morning we get to open the rest of our gifts and enjoy the rest of the day together. This year, after moving to Texas 2 years ago with my husband, I finally get to have Christmas with my dad and sister, and I couldn’t be more excited for us all to be together for the holiday again!
A day or two before Christmas my family travels to Fort Gibson Lake in Oklahoma to my Aunt and Uncle’s lake house. We have an evening there enjoying my Aunt’s beef tenderloin medallions and homemade potatoes, and end the night with wine, conversation, and an early Christmas present opening. On Christmas morning we all meet at my parents’ house in Tulsa, OK and we begin with opening Christmas stockings, then presents and proceed immediately with all of us making a big breakfast that would rival Waffle House. To finish Christmas festivities, we try to go to the movie theatre or plan some other family event if no good movies are playing.
My favorite Christmas tradition started when I met my wife in 2017. Her family had a long-standing tradition of staging Christmas Village pieces throughout their house and one of the first gifts we received during the Christmas season that year was the first piece her family purchased in 1996. I remember how much joy she got from being able to stage it in our first apartment and how it beautifully lit our living room that year. We’ve since bought more pieces to add of our own and hope to make it a family tradition for our future children. It’s been the first part of decorating we’ve done every year since!
Growing up in Liberia, there was no Santa in our culture. Looking back, I guess I became Santa to my family. My fondest memory of Christmas is a tradition I created as a child. Throughout the year, I would save up my allowance money and on Christmas Eve I would buy bags full of candy and chocolate (especially Snicker bars). If a family member or friend was good to me during the year, they would get a candy – the highest grade was Snicker bars (most times only mom and dad received Snicker bars). If they weren’t good to me during the year, they wouldn’t get any candy. I remember our entire family putting together the Christmas tree and having dinner together with our neighbors. Now I get to share these traditions with my nieces and nephews – only the Christmas tree and having dinner part, not the Santa because they believe in their own Santa.