As the holidays are just around the corner, stories are told of presents we have received in past years, crazy family members causing scenes, and unique traditions among families. Some see Christmas as Jesus’ birthday, others view it as a time for families to come together and share their love for one another through giving, and many combine the two views and celebrate both. As you would assume, the Hardie household celebrates both views but because of my father’s priestly duties, things are a bit different.
Christmas Eve consists of family time at my grandmother’s house with my cousins on my mother’s side, a game of football that involves a ridiculous amount of whining (therefore called the “Whine Bowl”), an early evening Christmas Eve service at the church with the entire family, tamales and chili back at my grandmother’s house, and back to church for the late evening candlelight service that just my mother, siblings, and I go to. Afterwards, we wait for my dad to come home to open our one Christmas Eve present (which is always a surprise and coincidentally always pajamas). It’s kind of a lot to fit into one night but family time in my household sometimes means church time as well.
Christmas morning usually consists of multiple stop’s and go’s. We all wake up early before my dad’s early morning service to sleepily wish each other Merry Christmas while gripping our coffee mugs and opening our stockings. Afterwards, we eat a delicious breakfast in celebration and see my dad off. It’s not until mid-afternoon that he will return and we can open our presents. Although this was frustrating at a young age, I’ve come to love this routine. Because of it, my family is able to spread out our Christmas day and enjoy it casually with each other. Holiday traditions are different for every family, but because of my father’s occupation, our traditions are especially unique compared to those of my friends.