Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Christmas traditions by Camy/Camille
I am fourth generation Japanese American, so my family has been in the US since the late 1800s. They adopted American Christmas practices but didn’t have any particular items or things they did every year besides Christmas dinner and a Christmas tree. My mom started a tradition of buying an ornament for me and my brother every year, but that stopped once I moved out of the house and didn’t have my own Christmas tree (and Mom was free to buy the decorations she wanted for their own tree).
But I realized that “Christmas traditions” aren’t necessarily things that we own, or things that you’d usually think of as a “tradition.” It’s become “tradition” for my family to visit a certain diner to eat their awesome sliders. It’s also a tradition to have a family dinner at Pappadeaux’s restaurant so I can have my year’s dose of crawfish étouffée.
Another tradition has become my husband’s gifts to my relatives—every year, he makes homemade bacon (he’s curing it in the fridge as we speak and he’ll smoke them next week). He also usually makes a piece of homemade pastrami for my dad, who loves pastrami. For the past two years he’s made brisket and burnt ends for my uncle.
We never have the same foods every year, but it’s become a tradition for us to have Christmas lunch with one side of the family and Christmas dinner with the other side. We’ve also started a White Elephant gift exchange, which rarely gets cutthroat but sometimes has some amusing gifts.
So “traditions” for us aren’t really what you’d normally think of as “traditions,” but they’ve become part of Christmas for me. It wouldn’t be the same without any of those things.
What are traditions you do for Christmas, both “traditional” and non-traditional? (Fair warning: If I like your idea, I might steal it! :)