(623) 544-0300 WWW.VITALCAREREHAB.COM C hristmas T raditions
CELEBRATIONS FROM MY CHILDHOOD TO TODAY
As a young child, I remember spending Christmas Eve at my grandma and grandpa’s house. My grandma is Norwegian, so every year, she made us traditional oyster stew for Christmas Eve dinner. I always hated oyster stew (I still can’t eat it!), but my parents tried to make it easier on me by telling me I only had to drink the broth and I didn’t have to eat the oysters. I would put as many crackers in my broth as possible to make it taste better, but it never worked, so I always resorted to soaking up the broth with tons of napkins or dumping it down the sink when nobody was looking. Eventually, I learned to sit at the bar by the sink to begin with so I could dump it faster. Thankfully, someone always made a pot of chili for those who didn’t want oyster stew, so after I claimed that I tried the oyster stew, I was allowed to have chili. Vital Care Patients ENTER TO WIN Find the misspelled word in this newsletter and call (623) 544-0300 for your chance to win a $10 gift card! CALL 623-544-0300
After dinner, my grandma served us a strawberry cake to remind all of us that gifts are fun, but we celebrate Christmas to remember Jesus’s birthday. The cake was for Jesus, so we would sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus, and all the kids would blow out the candles before eating it. I grew up in a religious household, and we still celebrate with my mom’s side of the family on Christmas Eve, so the strawberry cake tradition is still going strong. We opened presents from my aunts, uncles, and grandparents on Christmas Eve, and then my immediate family would go back home to sleep. We celebrated Christmas morning ourselves and opened our gifts. Later in the day, we would go visit my dad’s side of the family to celebrate with them. My dad is one of 12 kids, so Christmas dinner was always a potluck on paper plates with plastic utensils in front of a backyard bonfire. Then, since there were so many of us, we would do a big white elephant gift exchange. Today, we still participate in my family traditions, and now that I am married with a family of my own and a business we have added even more Christmas celebrations including the holiday work party at our house the beginning of December, and a celebration with my husbands side of the family, the Jones’s, which is always the Saturday before Christmas. When we come home from the Christmas Eve “Oyster Stew” Party, my mother-in-law, sisters-in-law, and niece are waiting for us to get home. They spend the night with us so they can be there in the morning to enjoy Santa’s surprises. Later that evening we go to my dad’s side of the family gathering. We still do a potluck dinner in
front of the bonfire, and its still just as fun as I remember it being when I was a kid.
I don’t remember exact gifts that I got as a kid because that was not what Christmas was all about nor what was important, I remember the fun times that I had with my family very clearly. I also remember the first Christmas I spent with my husband. He was still my boyfriend at the time, and we had invited him over for our Christmas morning celebration. He didn’t realize that we don’t get each other very many gifts, so he had gone out of his way to buy me an absurd amount of presents. I was still opening gifts way after everyone else had run out, and I was so embarrassed! It was really nice of him to spoil me that way, and now we spoil our kids with gifts each year along with the multiple family traditions supported by love.
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year, and we will see you soon.
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