Yes! These are a few of our (the women of the Salty Sunshine) favorite traditions! We had fun learning about the various traditions our families enjoy during the Christmas season. Attending Christmas services at church topped the list! We want to give a shout out to all the volunteers! Volunteers graciously offer their time at Christmas to welcome many guests into their churches! We thank those serving for being the hands and feet of Jesus! KNOW you are impacting lives with the good news of God’s love! So, from The Salty Sunshine, we THANK YOU!
Many of our bloggers live in and around the Indianapolis area. Several families identified they enjoy looking at the light display at Reynolds Farm Equipment, Inc., located in Fishers, Indiana. This year is Reynolds 26th annual FREE Christmas light display. The lights will be on until January 1, 2019. Summer’s family attends her church’s Christmas program followed by driving through the Reynolds light display. Melanie’s family also makes a yearly trip to Reynolds light display, followed up by a treat from Wendy’s. Frosties, brr!!! Melanie doesn’t even like frosties; however, her girls always remind her of their tradition! Kim’s family likes to research who hosts the “Top 10 Christmas light displays” around the city, then takes a drive to view them all on Christmas night. While Natalie enjoys looking at light displays, her favorite tradition is attending the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Yuletide Celebration. Natalie has been attending this variety show of music, dancing, and skits, for 22 years! WOW!
Several Salty Sunshine members shared their favorite Christmas traditions surrounding food. Lauren celebrates Christmas Eve with her side of the family. Lauren is Italian and one of her cultural traditions is to have a seafood smorgasbord! Lauren’s family cooks up mussels, clams, smelt, shrimp, and homemade lasagna, of course! Lauren said her family enjoys making Italian cooking for dessert, especially Pizzelles! At Lauren’s family celebration, dessert is quickly followed by opening presents! Callie shared her mama bakes an incredible sourdough coffee cake on Christmas morning. The coffee cake is served alongside her nana’s famous hot chocolate! Natale has enjoyed eating her grandfather’s cheese roll served with crackers since she was a little girl. Natale’s grandpa created this special cheese roll recipe himself, creating the perfect appetizer. While Natale’s grandpa now celebrates Christmas in Heaven, he did pass along the recipe to the family; they make it annually to celebrate grandpa’s memory.
Those of us with young kids, do enjoy taking our children to the Sullivan Santa Express Train Ride, hosted by Sullivan’s Hardware in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Sullivan Santa Express hosts several train rides in the evenings. Families can purchase a train car, take a ride to the North Pole, color a picture, visit Santa, then return to the train station and shop the holiday décor!
Real tree vs fake tree? We have some gals in our blogging collaboration who LOVE the real thing! Sara takes her family to cut down their Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Sara and her family split up to look for the perfect tree. When the perfect tree has been spotted, the person who has found perfection yells out “Key-O-Key!” to let the rest of the group know. To honor this tradition, the “Elf on the Shelf” at Sara’s house is named “Key-O-Key”! Natalie let us know not only is a real tree necessary at her house, but the smell of a real tree is her favorite Christmas scent!
Lindsay and Mig have created very fun, memorable traditions with their families! Lindsay said her family tradition is to take a yearly group photo. Lindsay said what initially started out as a funny, ugly sweater picture, turned into a yearly THEMED group photo! Lindsay said her family has dressed up as “Cowboys and Indians” and last year was the “Addams Family”! Super fun! Mig’s family has grasped onto the exciting tradition of finding the Christmas “Pickle” ornament. A Christmas pickle ornament is hidden into the tree. When the family is ready, they all run over to the tree to see who can find the ornament first! While this sounds easy, the green pickle and the green shades of the tree does make it challenging. Mig said her family really gets into this tradition; as the person who finds the pickle first is the winner and receives money!
Other traditions mentioned were: matching Christmas pajamas, collecting memory ornaments throughout the year for our kids, baking Christmas cookies and sending out Christmas cards. Again, while all of these are fun, we are most thankful for the birth of Jesus Christ! Of all the joys Christmas brings, the love of Christ is the greatest one of all!
“So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV