Merry Christmas Eve! We are only one day away from the day we've been waiting for all year! Christmas may look a little different in your household this year because of Covid, however you can still safely celebrate it with the ones you love. Today we're going to share with you some of the ways our team enjoys the holiday and tips for how to make the most of it this year!
Day 2: Christmas Traditions
There are many common Christmas traditions celebrated across the country, like decorating a Christmas tree, stuffing stockings, sharing gifts, listening to Christmas music, watching A Christmas Story 10 times in a row, etc. Although there are a lot of similarities between households, every family has its own unique way to celebrate.
Danielle Eldridge and her boyfriend Aaron McClure celebrate with their family and children by going to the movies and ordering Chinese food on Christmas day, every other year. They also make a mess of the kitchen together baking monkey bread and having breakfast for desert on Christmas morning! In their household, on Christmas Eve they all get to open one gift - which is a set of matching pajamas that they wear together on New Year’s Eve to start the new year off right!
At the Schmidt household, Mary Ann enjoys baking Polish bread (Placek) and other authentic Polish dishes such as perogies. Mary Ann's father immigrated to the United States from Poland after World War II, and instilled a lot of Polish customs in Mary Ann's upbringing, like celebrating on Christmas Eve by breaking off pieces of Oplatki with the family. Oplatki is a thin wafer embroidered with a nativity scene on it from Poland. Each family member breaks off a piece of the other's wafer similar to sharing the Eucharist at church. It signifies family unity and the love we have for each other, and we even share it with the pets too!
Aside from the Polish traditions, Steve Schmidt likes to make the whole family sit through over 2 hours of It's a Wonderful Life, even though Mary Ann always falls asleep 5 minutes in. We enjoy spending the day opening presents, talking to our family out of state or in Poland, playing with our animals, Sammie and Quincey, and eating a big feast prepared by our master-chef, Steve!
If we're lucky, the Schmidt family gets to visit our family friends, Russ and Anne, in Santa Cruz, California for Christmas, where we go "carroting" through their horse farm with "Santa's reindeer" on Christmas day, serving tamales and apple cider to the guests at the farm!
Tips for a Safe Christmas Celebration:
- Try to keep the gatherings small and make sure there's enough room to put some distance between each person
- Prepare food that doesn't require you to pick up from a common plate with your fingers
- Try to avoid hugging your loved ones! I know this is hard, but it's important to keep your loved ones safe!
- Do not share drinks or food
- If you're not feeling well, stay home
- Urge others to stay home if they're not feeling well
- Provide lots of soap and hand sanitizer in every room for your guests to use and encourage frequent hand washing
- Try to entertain your guests outside if possible
- Arrange eating in the largest room with space between each guest and open some windows to increase ventilation
- Try not to sing any Christmas carols with the family- singing spreads germs!
- And lastly, if you cannot physically spend Christmas with your family, you can spend it with them virtually by using face-time, Facebook video, Instagram video, Snapchat video, Zoom, Tango, and a variety of other video chatting apps!
We hope that these tips help to protect you and your family during this time of celebration, and we hope that you thoroughly enjoy this holiday! Please share with us how you and your family are celebrating this year!