Saturday, December 16, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun~Pauleen's Christmas Meme

This week Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings has challenged the community to participate in Pauleen Cass' Chrismas Meme. Pauleen writes the Family History Across the Seas blog.

There are a series of questions to answer about our holiday traditions. Here are my answers.
1-Do you have any special Christmas traditions in your family? 
We have several.  We have a trim the tree party where everyone comes and hangs their ornaments on the tree. It's fun to watch grandchildren help their parents.  A Christmas Eve program where everyone participates with some kind of talent and the reading of the story of the birth of Christ is the ending of the night.  A book of 25 stories was given to us years ago. Each night a story is read until Christmas along with watching an advent calendar from Jackie Lawson. Recently, we have added participating in the #LighttheWorld campaign and encourage each other to follow the suggestion for service each day.
2-Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Christmas Day?  
We always attend our church's Christmas celebration, usually on a Friday in December, watch the worldwide Christmas Devotional and attend services when they fall on a Sunday. We don't have a special service on Christmas Day if it doesn't fall on a Sunday. This year Christmas Eve will be even more special since it will be on the Sabbath Day.
3-Did/you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa?
Yes! Some of my favorite Christmas Decorations are photos of my children and grandchildren sitting on Santa's lap! As I write this, a test has come in from one of my daughters with pictures of her three with Santa. One with big smiles, and the two younger ones not so sure they want to meet the big guy in person!
4-Do you go caroling in your neighborhood?
We have often gone with our church youth group. One of my favorite caroling experiences was when my oldest son lived nearby. He rented a trailer to pull with his van, added some hay and we drove around the neighborhood singing. All 11 of my children with their children were together on that special night.
5-What’s your favorite Christmas music?
I love listening to the music from my teenage years. The Osmonds, Carpenters and Amy Grant's Christmas Albums always bring back wonderful memories of being with my parents and grandparents.
6-What’s your favorite Christmas carol?
I'm not sure I have a favorite. I love the classic songs and especially love December when we sing them in church.
7-Do you have a special Chrismas movie/book you like to watch/read?
My husbands are "A Christmas Carol", so we watch that every year along with "It's a Wonderful Life". If it's a Christmas Movie, we will be watching it sometime during the season.
You can catch me watching the Hallmark Christmas Movies all month long!
8-Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littlies only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)? 
Since we have a large family, the children have a sibling assigned to them each year to buy for.
The kids still at home get presents and filled stockings. My married children receive a package with a present to open for each of the 12 days before Christmas.
9-Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?
Christmas Dinner is usually at my mom's house. Whoever is in town comes and it can get quite noisy! Each has an assignment for what food to bring so that one person doesn't have the burden of cooking for so many!

10-What do you eat as your main course for the Christmas meal?
Turkey, Ham and all the fixings are on the menu.  Chocolate, pecan and pumpkin pies for dessert with plenty of eggnog ( non-alcoholic, lol!)
11-Do you have a special recipe you use for Christmas?  
My mom makes the most delicious Christmas candy every year. She dips all sorts of things in chocolate and white chocolate. My favorites are the candied orange slices and the Ritz crackers with peanut butter in between two. Whether they've been dipped in white or regular chocolate, they are amazing!
12-Does Christmas pudding feature on the Christmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited?
I have made a Christmas pudding from time to time. It is a recipe found in a cookbook years ago.
13-Do you have any other special Christmas foods? What are they? 
Our Christmas Eve dinner is made up of appetizers. This was started years ago so that we could graze as we participated in and watched our family program. We have taco dip, spinach balls, ramachi, BLT tomatoes, meatball, and the list goes on and on! A tree in our kitchen has popcorn balls, cookies, and candy canes hanging on it for dessert.
14-Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?
We usually make a plate of goodies for neighbors and friend from work and church.
15-Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa? 
When I was little, we would take turns at grandparents homes if we could. My dad was in the Air Force and many years we were too far away. Today, we go to my mom and dad's and our children who are out of town come when they can.
16-Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ? 
They are still full of family and love. The only difference is that we are active in church and have more of a religious aspect to Christmas now that I have a family of my own.
17-How do you celebrate Christmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Christmas outings? Drop-ins?
Lunches, parties, and other gatherings.
18-Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?
White icicle lights on the house and luminarias are put out on Christmas Eve.
19-Is your neighborhood a “Christmas lights” tour venue?  
No, but many in our cul-de-sac and the streets around us have wonderful light displays!
20-Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where?  
Many of our children have been and still, are involved in Bands and Choirs. Each year we attend Christmas concerts at their schools. We've now added grandchildren's  Christmas programs!
21-Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?
No, but it sounds like fun!
22-Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue? 
Typically is in with the family at home, but we have spent a Christmas in a beach house and at Disney World in the past.
23-Do you have snow for Christmas where you live?
When we lived in Utah and New Mexico we always had a chance for a white Christmas and had several. Now that we live in South Carolina near the beach, chances are very small we will see one here!
24-Do you have a Christmas tree every year?
Yes! We have a real tree in our family room, and artificial ones in the sunroom, kitchen and master bedroom. The kids have small tabletop trees in their rooms.
25-Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?  
From childhood, I have always had a live tree. We continue the tradition along with the artificial ones.

26-Do you have special Christmas tree decorations?  
My children have received an ornament every year until they left home. We still have them and they are put on the live tree each year. One day I will give them to them, but I am not ready to give up the memories yet! I have a special stuffed Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer that I put near the top of the tree each year. When I was a child, I insisted it go on the tree and not anywhere else!
27-Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving?
Although Thanksgiving is important to us, Christmas is the favorite for most.

Thanks, Randy and Pauleen! What fun to think about and answer each of these questions!

What about you? Will you take the challenge and participate in Pauleen's Christmas meme?
If you do, add the link to your post to Randy's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post and leave Pauleen a comment letting her know you joined in!

Thanks so much for stopping by!
Helping you climb your family tree,


  1. Your husband and I are kindred spirits - A Christmas Carol is by far my favorite Christmas movie. I wish we still had a live tree, but it is just too hot and dry in Arizona. Thanks for sharing your meme answers and Merry Christmas!

  2. You have created wonderful memories for your children that they will treasure for a long time.

  3. Thanks, Lisa. It's fun to watch them pass on the traditions to my grandchildren. Merry Christmas!

  4. Thanks Cheri, I really enjoyed all your different traditions...lots of organising goes into all of those. I guess the key to our celebrations is about love of family.

    1. So true, Pauleen! Thank you for your meme. It was fun to do!