Some families celebrate Christmas according to their ethnic backgrounds. My stepfather, who was Swedish, always cooked Swedish meatballs for Christmas Eve and brought out the lutefisk. We ate the meatballs, but drew the line on the rest. Since our family has a rather mixed heritage, we choose to follow our own mixed tradition. Our family’s Christmas traditions involve the 4 F’s – Food, Family, Faith, and Fun.
On Christmas Eve, our Family attends a Christmas Eve candlelight service at the church where I serve as Senior Pastor, United Evangelical Free Church in Seattle. This starts our celebration on a foundation of Faith as we Celebrate the Son.
On the way home, we call in an order to our local Mexican Restaurant, Rancho Grande. We pick up the Food and enjoy a feast at home, followed by our annual viewing of The Muppet Christmas Carol, which is heavy on the Fun quotient.
On Christmas morning, since our children are all college students, we put off opening presents and start with breakfast. It is one of the few times during the year when we fix a big breakfast and eat together. Our menu usually consists of scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, sausage, hash browns, sticky buns, a sparkling strawberry punch, and coffee.
While breakfast is cooking, the kids open their stocking gifts that my wife has prepared. Following breakfast and the dishes, we open our gifts.
For the past few years, Christmas dinner has consisted of prime rib, double-stuffed potatoes, and a delightful corn dish made with corn and swiss cheese. This year, our youngest daughter is making dessert, a double chocolate cake.
As the saying goes, “Once is a good idea, twice is a tradition, and third time is ‘we’ve always done it this way.'” Be they ever so humble, we certainly enjoy our traditions.