I am from a small town outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I grew up surrounded by family, and family remains an important part of my life now. I believe rituals are a large part of what continues to bring my family close together, for as we grow older and life gets busy, the celebrations and traditions that we hold force us to take time to spend with one another.
Seeing as Christmas is right around the corner (my family celebrates Christmas), a few family traditions surrounding the holiday were the first that came to mind. One tradition I want to carry on in my own life is called “Sips”. At this gathering, about 100 members of my extended family get together and munch on appetizers like shrimp, cheese, crackers and dips. Although the food is always delicious, my favorite part about this tradition is that we all gather around a piano and carol together. We each get a song book and take turns shouting out the number of the song we want to sing. It is pretty incredible to me that this large of a family is still able to get together once a year and it is always one of the most joyful nights in my year.
Another Christmas tradition I would like to carry on is our famous Christmas morning breakfast. While many people on Christmas morning have decadent meals, we have carried the tradition of having mini boxes of cereal. I come from a large family myself and on Christmas morning, it was always too difficult to make a fancy meal (because us kids were awake before the crack of dawn – anticipating the presents to come…), so my mom reverted to mini boxes of cereal – cheap, and easy! I want to carry this tradition on as it reminds me of my family and the love I have for them. Although having a bigger family can often result in dysfunction, I am so grateful for what I have and who I have been stuck with to call family.