There were a lot of things I wanted to share about how my family celebrates Christmas but I kind of let it sneak up on me. So for my last “Christmas Traditions” post for this year I’m just going to give a summary of what we do on Christmas Eve.
My Grandpa was born on Christmas Eve so my Grandma tries very hard to keep his birthday special but separate from Christmas celebrations. So, Christmas Eve dinner(supper, depending on where your from) is his birthday part of the day.
Grandpa blows out his candle (its a grave stone that says, “Over the Hill, too OLD to count!”) and opens his birthday presents. After cake is done and the dishes washed, only then does Christmas begin.
My Dad always tells Grandpa that he is the only man he knows older than Jesus!
My Grandparents give each of the un-married, grandkids “Christmas Clothes Money” to pick out a new Sunday outfit for Christmas. So once dinner is cleaned up we all go change into our Christmas clothes and take way too many pictures.
We’ve been doing this for a long time! When we were little they only lined us up by age, now its done by age and then height to see how we’ve changed and grown over the years.
This picture (taken in 1988) from left to right:
Robbie Shahan, Missy Shahan-Hutchins, Ben Heffernan, Stephen Shahan, Abby Heffernan-Townsend, Becky Shahan
The picture on the left is all of us in 2008 (the last year everyone was at Grandma’s for Christmas) lined up by age and the one on the right is us lined up by height. :)
This is just my family Right to Left: Dad, Mom, Robbie, Jessica,(sis-in-law) Matt, (bro-in-law) Missy, Stephen, Christina,(sis-in-law) Me, Austin(the only grandchild at the time, Missy was expecting Jonathan!)
This is my Mom’s sisters family Right to Left: Dale, Jody, Ben, Elizabeth,(Ben’s wife) Candace, Abby, Marcus
After all the pictures we have what my Grandma calls a candle light service. Christmas is so commercial and this is a good way to get your focus off of the presents and on thanking the Lord for what he’s done in our lives through the year. We always start with my grandpa (since he’s the oldest) and everyone shares what they are thankful for in the past year. This picture is of Austin, he was still pretty young when this was taken, but he said he was thankful for Mommy and Daddy :)
One year Grandma decided not to do our candle-light service anymore, she said she thought that none of the grandkids would miss it (and I’m sure it made a mess). The next year my oldest brother, Robbie, I think he was 16 at the time, came to her and said, “we’re doing a candle-light service aren’t we?” She immediately started breaking out the candles! I don’t think we’ve missed doing it since. Its always been my favorite part of Christmas.
Well that’s pretty much it for the Christmas Traditions I hope you’ve enjoyed a peek into our family and maybe you’ll use some of these idea’s with your own families.