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Spending time with family is best part of Christmas

From sitting down to large meals to watching classic movies repeatedly, each family has its own way of celebrating the holidays.

And often these activities are continued year after year until they become traditions that people associate with memories of Christmas.

Stephanie Lester’s parents have held a party on Christmas Eve since she can remember.



“People who don’t have anyone to spend Christmas with come over and we eat finger foods and listen to music,” she said. “I always thought that was really nice of them.”

Even though Lester has moved out, she still helps with the party, often as the designated driver for the guests. As she’s grown up, that Christmas Eve tradition has stuck with her.



Tammy Hagar started a few customs in her home she hopes her children will carry with them for life as well. She decorates the tree with homemade ornaments and ornaments with a theme for each child, like horses, mice and teddy bears.

Each child also receives a harness with bells from one of Santa’s reindeer when they are six years old.

Meghan Jezo, 9, has already started a few traditions of her own. She watches, “A Christmas Story” every year and always leaves a special mix of reindeer food for Santa’s crew.

Her family attends a candlelight Christmas Eve service and enjoys eggs Benedict on Christmas morning. One ritual her family observes that is popular is opening one gift on Christmas Eve night.

Sherman Romney’s family does this as well, mainly because some can’t wait to start ripping the packages open.

“(The kids) are the ones driving that tradition,” he said.

One Romney hopes will change as his children get older is the hour at which they awake.

“We’re trying to push that up a little bit so we can sleep to 7 a.m.,” he said.

Lester said Christmas morning brings a little competition to her family.

“Whoever wakes up first gets the best presents, gets the best stockings,” she said.

Later in the day, feasts with turkey and ham are common, and Romney said that’s a popular activity among his children.

“The kids all really look forward to that. It’s like a second Thanksgiving dinner,” he said.

Jaime Drew said her family plays children’s board games until the kids are restless and ready for a movie. Then they play adult games.

Her family has a similar tradition to Lester’s. They also have a Christmas party for those who may not have anyone to spend the holidays with. They often buy them a present or two as well.

When all the gifts have been ripped apart and played with, Romney said he takes the cardboard and paper outside and builds a 20-foot bonfire.

“We’re trying to get it out from under our feet and out of the house,” he said.

But no matter what the Christmas celebrations, it seems most families have one tradition in common: spending it with the ones they love.

“We try to spend Christmas Day together even though we’re all apart,” Hagar said.

Romney agreed, saying his Christmas may not be extraordinary but it’s ideal for him.

“We just lay low with our family,” he said. “That’s the best way to do it.”

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031 or mperry@craigdailypress.com.


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