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10-Day Countdown to Christmas, Day 2!

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!

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  1. Michael McLaughlin on

    There's nothing more important than spending time with family and friends especially during the holidays. This year more than ever. Keep celebrating especially for a great 2021.
    • Julia Schmidt on

      Thanks Mike! All the best to you and your family! We look forward to celebrating now and the New Year!
  2. Martha and Rudy Carlson on

    Hello Julia and Mary-Ann, Thank you for this nice blog. We are very somber today as the clouds come down and the BBC Christmas Oratorio plays on the radio. But we met Rudy's brother and sister-in-law for a gift swap. They were jolly and brought us oysters from Damerascotta. We'll eat them tonight with Rudy's Swedish meatballs and a dab or two of cheese fondue. Tomorrow we'll finish off the oysters, Rockefeller broiled, and enjoy some wild-caught salmon. For dessert, my childhood favorite--vanilla ice cream balls, rolled in coconut with a cherry on top! Your blog makes us think of all the bright lights we can still enjoy this year. Thank you. Merry Christmas to the Schmidt family! The Carlsons
    • Julia Schmidt on

      Martha and Rudy, thank you for sharing! The food you're celebrating with sounds divine! I haven't had fondue in forever! I'm glad to hear that we are helping add to your Christmas spirit! Merry Christmas to you and your family and have a Happy New Year!
  3. Sara Pike on

    Our family LOVES the holidays! We usually host Christmas Eve celebrations by making gingerbread houses and baking sugar cookies in every Christmas shape imaginable to decorate! This year we had to get a little creative with Covid and the restrictions. We decided to gather family outside by the fire and order Chinese food. We all played in the snow and just enjoyed one another's company. If 2020 has taught us anything it's not about what you are doing, but more importantly about who you are with! I hope everyone has a chance to get creative and show the ones they love how important they are to them this holiday season! Merry Christmas to all!
    • Mary-Ann Schmidt on

      Sara, thank you for sharing! That's what year is all about, being creative and being flexible! Things have changed a lot this year, but if you look on the bright side of things, you may end up having more fun than you normally do! It sounds like your family found a creative way to celebrate! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
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