THE 2012 CHRISTMAS GENEAMEME

advent-candlesThis post is in response to the Deck the Halls Geneameme over at the Family History Across the Sea Blog. To participate or find links to more blogs doing the meme, click on the candles to the left.  Thanks to Pauleen for putting this together.

Christmas 2011

Christmas 2011

  1. Do you have any special Xmas traditions in your family?    In addition to having a Christmas tree we also set up a manger. When the children were home or my granddaughter is here we set it up at the beginning of Advent and move Mary and Joseph along day by to to arrive at the stable on Christmas Eve.  Jesus appears at midnight and the three wise men start their journey, arriving on Epiphany.
  2. Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day?  Some of us attend Church services and some don’t.  Those who do go to the night service on Christmas Eve.
  3. Did/do you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa? None of us believe in Santa.
  4. Do you go carolling in your neighbourhood? There have been times when we caroled but not recently. Click on the link to read about my youngest son’s caroling experience.
  5. What’s your favourite Christmas music?  Click on the link to hear my favorite Christmas song which is Christmas in the Trenches.
  6. What’s your favourite Christmas carol? My favorite Christmas carol is We Three Kings and you can click on the link to hear it played on hang drums.
  7. Do you have a special Xmas movie/book you like to watch/read In the past I used to watch It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol on television but since I no longer have a television, I listen to Dylan Thomas’ A Child’s Christmas in Wales, which you can hear by clicking on the link.
  8. Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littlies only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)?  I have 5 children and 6 grandchildren who live in the same city my husband and I do, Atlanta, GA. On Christmas evening they all come over to my house.  After we eat dinner, we open all the gifts. At this time my children, grandchildren and we the parents give gifts to everyone of us. They aren’t expensive gifts but there are a lot of them. You can see some of us just before opening our gifts on Christmas day in 2011 above.
  9. Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?  Christmas dinner is indoors at our house.
  10. What do you eat as your main course for the Christmas meal? You can read a description of our usual Christmas dinner, with a photo by clicking the link above. It is the same dinner my grandparents and my mother cooked, with a few changes – turkey with cornbread stuffing, greens, rice, green salad, rolls (my grandmother had biscuits), cranberry jelly (my grandmother’s came from a can, we make ours with fresh cranberries), candied sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese.  We also have brisket  and various desserts – sweet potato and mince meat pie, or cheesecake, pound cake, fruitcake.
  11. Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas? I make my own fruitcake from a combination of various recipes and changes I make. Click on the link to see me mixing it up. I have a bowl of mixed dried fruit and I need to go on and finish the cakes! I am so late.
  12. Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited?  We had no Christmas pudding on the table.
  13. Do you have any other special Christmas foods? What are they? Not that I can think of.
  14. Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?  Sometimes I give fruitcake and sometimes various children or adults make cookies to give. Click the link to see some of the gift cookies.
  15. Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa?  Our family is mostly in Atlanta. One son  and granddaughter live in other cities. This will be the first Christmas she hasn’t spent with us in 5 years. He is living far away in Seattle so often doesn’t get here. Our parents are no longer living so this is “home”.
  16. Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ?  When I was growing up we went to both grandparents house, my maternal grandparents in the afternoon and my paternal grandparents at night. Aunts, uncles and cousins would be there. Food and gifts were eaten and exchanged along with conversation and laughter. We were in Detroit so we usually had snow for Christmas. Here we are more likely to have rain..  We’re the grandparents now so our children and grandchildren come here. only one daughter has in-laws in the city so the others do not make visits to two houses on Christmas day.
  17. How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins?  I don’t have any friends that I celebrate Christmas with. The closest would be my sister and her husband. We go by there during the holiday and they come by here on Christmas day after dinner at her daughter’s house.
  18. Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?  We never do and never have decorated with lights. Click to see a short post about lights in my Christmas.
  19. Is your neighborhood a “Xmas lights” tour venue? Our neighborhood is far from a tour venue. There are very few lights in this area.
  20. Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where? There are Christmas concerts at the various schools my grandchildren attend and sometimes we attend.  This year I went to a French caroling concert at one school. If we go to a Christmas church service there will be carols to sing along with there.
  21. Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?  Although my youngest son and my husband received boy scout Polar Bear Badges for winter camping, none of us have done any Christmas camping.
  22. Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue?  Here at home.
  23. Do you have snow for Christmas where you live? There was a snow scare one year and everybody spent the night with us but since we have left Michigan we have not had a white Christmas.  It’s raining outside right now with no predictions of snow. The temp is 55 F right now on December 16.
  24. Do you have a Christmas tree every year?  We have a living tree every year. We tend to wait until the last minute to get it and put it up a few days before Christmas. When we lived in the country my husband would cut ours or we would buy a $5 scotch pine from a roadside stand. Now that we are in the big city we buy a pine and it costs more than $5.
  25. Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?  Click to see more about the trees I have had.
  26. Do you have special Xmas tree decorations?  We save the decorations from year to year so some are from when my own children were small and some were bought and some were made by my grandchildren. I wish I had a few from my mother’s tree or her parents tree but those disappeared long ago.
  27. Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving The meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas are identical. This year we ate at one of my daughters for Thanksgiving. New Years Eve is also a family celebration with everybody who doesn’t have plans sleeping over here. The grandkids consider the New Year sleepover perhaps a higher point than Christmas. Click to read something about my Thanksgiving memories.
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6 Responses to THE 2012 CHRISTMAS GENEAMEME

  1. Sheryl says:

    My favorite ornaments are the ones that my children made in school when they were small–construction paper wreathes, an ornament made out of toothpicks, etc.

    • Kristin says:

      I have one that my daughter made out of the top of a tin can. I’m just amazed that no one has sliced their fingers on the sharp edges so far. I remember it was a 4-H project.

  2. Pauleen says:

    Hi Kristin, I”m so sorry I missed your post in my summary but will add it in a minute. It’s a great addition with so many special memories. I knew of the WWI story but hadn’t heard that song before -goosebumps and tears! I think of my Bavarian ancestors’ descendants meeting their cousins from Australia without knowing of the link. You hear this and wonder why we can’t find peace without the powerbrokers.

    At Christmas we often dashed between places when our children were small so I know what you mean about competing pulls, however pleasant once you got there:-)

    Loved your links and all the wonderful stories you’ve written and that rich photo archive you have. Thanks for sharing with us.

  3. Judy Webster says:

    ‘We Three Kings’ is my favourite carol too. Pardon my ignorance, but how do you make candied sweet potatoes?

    • Kristin says:

      Basically cut them up and bake them with sugar and butter for a long time until the sugar is sort of candied. They are very sweet and I just bake them whole and mash but one of my daughters makes them the old way. I think I will post a recipe on the blog today.

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