Christmas Eve Traditions

Lisa
advent-calendar-551815_640Hi everyone, hope everyone is enjoying this Christmas Eve and YES I did finally find my jingle with the encouragement of my fellow caregivers.

While Christmas Day is when we as a whole celebrate Jesus' birthday, my family has always had a lot of traditions on Christmas Eve that I'd like to share. They all have Daddy in the middle of them too lol.  My family was one of the first two-working parent households of my friends that I can remember. My dad worked in a textile mill until he retired (early due to massive stroke - wonder why), and my mom worked in a "dime store" as we called it here in the South.

Those dimes stores are pretty much a thing of the past, but this one was SO COOL. It was big, had creaky wooden floors, had a candy counter where you could pick out your own candy, cosmetics, clothes, housewares and oh yes toys. So I always felt like the luckiest kid because I got to go there every day because Dad took Mom to work every morning and picked her up in the evenings. Yay me.

Oh, back to Christmas Eve. Well, Daddy and I would drop Mom off at work on Christmas Eve (retail stores always work then, still do). After that we headed for fun. Our first stop was downtown where we went to the bank and got cash for "extras" that day. Dad would always give me a "piece of money" to have in case I saw anything that I wanted to buy Mom myself. At the bank they would have punch and cookies and a party atmosphere, and everyone knew you by name. That's fading too.

After the bank, we continued downtown to the local drug store, Mitchell's. This place is still in business at a different location, btw. The stop at Mitchell's was very important. This was before large "department store" shopping, or at least in our small town. Mitchell's had Chanel No. 5... maybe the only place in town that did, only place I knew of at my young age anyway. So we stopped by for the traditional bottle of perfume. I always wondered what would happen if they were out, but they never were. I found out years later that there was always a bottle "on hold" for Dad to come and pick up.

I remember picking up lotion, bath beads or other little luxuries to buy with my "piece of money" and take home to wrap later. After we left downtown, we stopped by Burger Chef, there was no McDonald's there then and had lunch (we had to eat).

After that, we went to Mrs. Ferguson's house. Daddy had known her since he was a little boy. She had the prettiest house and the prettiest things! She also made the best homemade coconut cake in town. She would make them for people, took orders every year. They were all sitting on her dining room table and looked like big snowballs. Yum. One was for us.

So after that, we headed home to get things started there. We already had the ham, Dad would go ahead and slice it for sandwiches. Our Christmas Eve meal always consisted of a ham sandwich and a slice of coconut cake. A big reason for this was Mom was working all day with last minute Christmas shoppers. So after our supper, we always did our gift exchange, which we still do now. Besides, everything had to be ready for Santa!

Now when fixing Santa's snack at my house, he didn't want milk and cookies. He wanted, you guessed it - a ham sandwich and a slice of coconut cake. With a Coke. I remember asking Dad why he didn't want milk and cookies at our house (because he did at all of my friends' houses). He said that by the time Santa got to our house, he was tired off all of the milk and cookies and needed a sandwich and some cake to finish the rest of his deliveries! Good play, huh?

So today when you're winding up your baking, wrapping and whatnot, think about my funny traditions here. We've dropped a few but we've also kept a few. And with Dad's great memory, we still talk about them during the holiday season every year. Thinking about these special times with him always makes me smile. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. Talk to you tomorrow in the chat room. ~

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