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Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016

Christmas traditions

Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at 7:57 AM

So many families have traditions they carry out each and every holiday season. I am going to share some of my favorite family traditions and hope that you will share some of yours as well.

First and foremost, I feel it necessary to recognize the real reason we celebrate this Christmas season -- the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

At my Granny Pat and Papaw Larry Fougerousse's house, we always gather in the family room after having breakfast (always at the very least biscuits and gravy, bacon, fried eggs, and monkey bread) on Christmas morning while one of the kids reads the Christmas story from the Bible.

It's been neat to see my younger cousins grow over the years and have their turn reading the story. The past few years, my oldest child has been the one to read the story. As a Christian parent, I feel that's so important. It's so easy to get caught up in the hoopla of shopping and presents. We all just need to remember the birth of Jesus Christ is why we celebrate this wonderful Christmas season.

Until the last year or so, my Fougerousse side of the family (immediate and slightly extended) gathered at my great-grandparents house on Christmas Eve for finger foods (always chicken salad, ham salad, and frothy punch, bacon wrapped chicken livers, among other things), homemade candy (buckeyes, chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, peanut brittle, date nut roll and more), and Santa. My great-grandpa passed away in 2001, and my great-grandma is 96 and now in a nursing home, so that tradition has come to an end. As a kid, I remember my cousins Ashley, Brandi, and I always looking out the front window watching and waiting for Santa to come. He'd come up on Grandma and Grandpa's front porch and would always have a special treat for us. We'd sit on his lap and tell him what we wanted for Christmas. I finally got out of sitting on Santa's lap when I was 20-years-old and 9-months pregnant. I think my family feared I would crush poor Santa!

A tradition my husband and I started before we had kids was to sponsor an Angel Tree child or purchase toys for Toys for Toys. When we had kids, we wanted to keep that tradition going. It's a simple way to teach the kids the importance of giving back to those less fortunate. It makes me feel good to see the smile on my kids' faces as they pick out toys and clothes that other children might enjoy.

A tradition I've started with the kids is to sprinkle reindeer food outside on Christmas Eve so Santa's reindeer can find our house. It's simple to make, and they kids have a good time with it.

It's one cup of rolled oats, two to six teaspoons of red colored sugar, and two to six teaspoons of green colored sugar. Mix the ingredients together and place them in a plastic bag using as much colored sugar as you like to a festive, sparkly effect.

We read this before we sprinkle the mixture onto the ground:

Sprinkle this reindeer food outside tonight.

The moonlight will make it sparkle bright.

As the reindeer fly and roam.

This will guide them to your home.

I'm thinking about making little bags of reindeer food for my twins (who are 3) to pass out to their friends at daycare. I have a son in first grade, and the kids in his class might like this, too. This might even be something my third grader would like to pass out to her friends. I think the kids would have fun making a big batch and scooping it out for their friends.

What traditions does your family have? What traditions do you remember from your childhood?

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Halea Franklin
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