I've been thinking about all of the rituals or traditions that my family keeps during the holidays. While growing up we always opened our presents on Christmas Eve. Mom would make a nice roast, and after dinner we would gather around the Christmas tree and listen to dad read the Christmas story out of the bible. As a kid I really didn't pay much attention to the story because I was more curious about how many of those boxes under the tree were mine and what they had in them. After opening presents we were allowed to play for a little while until we had to go to bed and take a nap before midnight mass. Around 11:00 our sleep would be promptly interrupted, and we would dress in our finest clothes in order to head to church for the midnight mass that would last for at least an hour, if not two.

Christmas morning brought with it a flurry of activity. I come from a large family of five where I was the youngest, so on holidays everyone would come home with their kids in tow. Grandma and grandpa would come and bring a great big plate of homemade cookies and fudge. This plate would include fig pinwheels, divinity, and peanut clusters. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. We would have a couple different meats to choose from, mom's famous homemade rolls, and lots of pies and cakes for dessert. After lunch we would go for a walk or play some type of sport in the yard with the nieces and nephews. At dinner we would snack on leftovers and lounge around the living room or den.

Why am I blogging about this? Because it has been on my mind. Last night I heard a guy talk about a New Year's Day tradition and it got me to thinking about all the different holidays and all the different traditions that I hold dear. I think we need holidays to look forward to in life. Holidays mean something special and something different. Holidays give us an excuse to stop focusing on the everyday things of life and for a brief time focus on family and refocus on what is important in life. They bring with them different decorations for the house, different social events, and different foods. I think we need holidays, and they are an essential part of a healthy life. Happy Holidays!