Many families have Christmas traditions. Some gather together on Christmas Eve...some Christmas day. Some gather when ever or where ever they can to accommodate schedules. Growing up, Christmas day was when we opened gifts and celebrated. Of course church was another tradition. Midnight mass was usually when we went when I was a teen...I really don't remember going on Christmas day. Hmm..I need to check with Mom on that one! As we grew up and had homes of our own, Christmas Eve was held at different homes each year. The last one I hosted when I lived in Chicago was in 1975. Our first born son wasn't in a manger...but he was in the hospital NICU. He was born premature a month before Christmas...exactly...and was still in the hospital. My family gathered at our tiny apartment. The same traditions were honored...gifts, food, and family. I had to work the midnight shift at the hospital. I didn't mind because that's the same hospital my baby was in and I could spend his first Christmas with him on my break. I remember going in to see him and on his incubator was a tiny angel and the smallest pair of Christmas socks ever! I still have those tiny socks....I doubt his 39yr old feet would fit them! Ha! Many things had changed by the next Christmas in 1976. My Dad passed away that November and Jack graduated from Chiropractic college and we moved to Ohio. We moved into his family's traditions. We would gather together with is family on Christmas day to open gifts and enjoy family and food. We would head down to the farm and gape at the ginormous tree they always had and enjoy Jack's Mom's delish food....many things that I now serve are recipes from those days. I wish his Mom and Dad were still here to celebrate with us. Now we host the gathering here at the Pines. Tradition has us getting together on Christmas day also. Except for this year. We moved the celebration to today. I'm having bilateral knee surgery on Friday and felt it would be better to do this today....and I'm glad we did. It was a lovely day all around. The weather was in the upper 30's...warm for us! The sun actually shown bright and it was great to see everyone. We sure wish our son Craig and his family could be here, but living in Oregon makes it hard to be together for holidays. The usual things we do on Christmas day were done today...this first day of Winter. (I think the first day is today!) The shortest day of the year, but it was long on love, laughter, fun, family, food and gifts.
Dinner was held in the dining room.