Christmas traditions are coming fast and furious and it is hard to keep up by blogging about them.
This year as usual we had our Christmas Eve party over at my Mom's house. She has always enjoyed having parties and now that she is 81 she is finding it harder to get things ready for the party. This year we had a good friend visiting for the holidays who is staying at her house and he has been helping her around the house to get things ready for the party and Christmas.
We invited some folks over to the party this year. One new person we invited was a man I call Ed from Mali Africa. He is a very friendly and personable guy and as he was recently divorced from his wife and his family isn't available to him for Christmas. We decided he needed to at least have a good time on Christmas Eve. He came and he did have a good time.
We started out the party with a buffet of good foods and snacks. This year the smorgasbord included everything from my Mom's corn chowder to our special citrus punch that we like to make, little smokies and meat balls in barbecue sauce, greens provided by a friend who knows how to make southern greens with the best of them, enchilada dip for tortilla chips, bagel bites, chex mix, monster cookies and spinach dip for chips. There were others but these stick out in my mind. Needless to say more than enough good eats.
After everyone has had a good chance to eat we typically have a program that includes my Mom reading her 'Willie and Annie" story that she has enjoyed and read many times over the years. And typically ends with my reading Luke 2. This year I read it from my Mom's large old Bible that is starting to get decrepit but is the closest thing we have to the family Bible. Megan told a Christmas story from her mission and Ed told a story from his life experience. Elder Jones a missionary currently serving in our area spoke about some traditions his family does for Christmas. He enjoyed the punch we had because he said it is the same punch that his family has which was a surprise to me since I don't recall anyone saying they have that same punch in their home. Ed thought highly of the punch as well and he asked for the recipe.
This year it felt especially enjoyable as we celebrated the evening before the day our Savior was born. Telling stories of family and happiness and caring topped of by the story of the Savior's birth once again served to bring peace and calm with a spirit of love into my Mom's home and our lives individually. Just what I would hope our family traditions would always do.