My Dad’s family has gathered on Christmas Eve longer than I’ve been alive. My grandfather immigrated alone from Sweden as a young man. He married my grandmother and had seven children. I’ve lost track of how many descendants there are now. A few years ago, my aunt started decorating one of her trees with old photos of all the cousins when we were little kids. The toys under the tree are all ones we remember playing with. They’ve certainly been around longer than I’ve been alive.
A shot of apricot brandy has always been part of the evening’s entertainment. It is passed around by the patriarch of the family. He hands you the shot, and you salute him with a hearty “Skol” (cheers) . Not sure how or why it was ever started or if it is even a tradition in Sweden, I just know it goes down smoothly, warms you up and it wouldn’t be Christmas without it.
Things change. Children grow. People pass on. I hope to carry these traditions on though, so my children can say they remember them for as long as they’ve been alive. I think it is important.
Does your family have Christmas traditions you still practice?