Holiday Traditions

“Traditions are the tie that binds the family together.”

I heard that phrase as a child……now I understand what the saying means. Out of all the beautiful times of the year, the traditons of Christmas Eve are my favorite. I’m not sure if it is the simplicity , the food or the quiet. Somehow, there is a peaceful comfort that I feel on this day. No gifts. No ripping paper frantically. No screams of delight for the newest toy……just reflectful quiet.

This Christmas Eve feels a bit different. I know that just comes with the territory of being displaced. But, even without the flood, this Christmas Eve felt different. Children grow up, loved ones grow older and pass away. Times change…..but traditions bind the changing years together. No matter what life looks like, there is a sense of comfort in a tradition.

Our family comes from a rich Danish heritage. My Grandfather spoke Danish as a child, and learned English when he went to elementary school. Stories of Ellis Island and their travels to the family farm in Nebraska are never far from our mind. I have always loved the Scandanavian culture, and I feel a deep sense of belonging with our family roots.

Ebelskiver is our morning favorite. Delicious puffs of pancake heaven, cooked in special Danish pans that were my Grandfather’s. Ebelskiver is a time-consuming tradition, but when eaten with powdered sugar and melted butter, one forgets the hour of prep time.

Danish meatballs are our Christmas Eve feast. If you have never tried a Danish meatball, then you seriously need to doubt your “foodie” existance. Absolutely delicious. Nutmeg and Allspice are the secret ingredients, which make the meatballs taste incredibly unique and completely addicting. We cooked almost ten pounds of meatballs this year. I was tired of not having meatball leftovers, so I put my foot down. Now, I have two beautiful bags of frozen goodness just waiting for me.

We will leave tomorrow to visit my husband’s side of the family. We will indulge in the traditional Christmas Turkey and Ham feast, complete with ‘Mema’s Cornbread Stuffing’ cooked in her old roaster. Southern stuffing is very different than the northern ‘stuff’ I grew up with. (Don’t tell my Dad). The texture is moist and it tastes like a spoonful of turkey-seasoned, buttery but of heaven.

Festivities will include a Chinese Christmas Gift Exchange, Singing Carols (with an obnoxiously loud Twelve Days of Christmas) and the added bonus for me…bulb hunting. I will also have the annual battle over car space for all my bulb goodies I dug. I will have to come up with new, intelligent reasons why the bulbs deserve to ride home with us in the car. It happens every year. This year, my reason is simple. Over-played, but simple…..

“You know, I lost my house in a flood…”

That should seal the deal for sure. Or at least, bring a few laughs.

Holiday traditions….

My heart is warm and my belly is full. My garden is partly weeded, and the tin on my potting shed is finally nailed down. My children are at home together, under the same roof, laughing at old movies and enjoying the company of each other. Life is good and I am so thankful this Christmas Season.

May you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

“May the Lord bless thee and keep thee. May His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give them peace.”