Say What?!? Saturday: Traditions

Now that it’s officially Chrissmus tahm (Christmas time) I can decorate and watch holiday movies with abandon *sparkles all the things*. I’ve been secretly watching Christmas movies on Hallmark for the past month…feel free to judge.

The holidays always makes me think of family traditions. Sometimes we take tradition for granted until a key elder of the family passes and things change. I’ve recently found myself being pulled “home”. Home is in quotes because I wasn’t born in Savannah but it’s in my blood. It’s the place of my mother’s birth. Not only does the city call me but the ocean calls me as well. So I’m heeding the call for Christmas!

When I was younger, my mother’s side had traditions of their own. Christmas Eve involved The Uncles going to get the perfect real tree and whoever happened to be in town that eve would help decorate.  We would have to hide the large outside lights from Grandma to keep her from putting them on the tree and burning the house down. Christmas Eve day, Grandpa would spend tidying the lawn and putting out the Nativity scene…ahh memories. 

On Christmas day, we would gather and Grandpa would dress as Santa and hand out each and every gift (there were quite a few of us). The younger cousins would get restless and head off to the movies. The Uncles would sneak off to the den to watch the football game or play a round of cards.

Many years ago, while in college, I was introduced to a 3rd cousin that I didn’t really know well. We began to form a relationship and she invited me to spend Christmas with her immediate family in Savannah. What I found was  wonderful weekend filled with tradition. The Christmas holiday with the Greens is fairly relaxed with only a couple tried and true must dos. Christmas morning is mandatory Sunrise service at Zion Hill Baptist Church. We may grumble all the way there but we never miss a sunrise. We sing Happy Birthday Jesus (yes, really), soak in some inspirational words from the Reverend, and then descend upon the breakfast prepared by the Kitchen ministry. May the Lord bless the bacon they have prepared. Amen. This is an opportunity to fellowship with distant family and friends. Then, we take a nap and enjoy the rest of the day. The day after Christmas is the game night. This is an opportunity for extended family to gather after spending Christmas day with their immediate families. We play Pokeno, have art auctions and gift exchanges. One year, we had a line dance coach come out and teach us some moves!

I am quite greatful to be a part of both family’s traditions and hope to continue for many years to come.

So, what are some of your favorite family Christmas traditions?

~Ruth

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