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Write On! My Family's Christmas Traditions


December 20, 2019

by Ethan McDonald, English 7, Mrs. Didrikson

Every other year my whole family on my mom's side goes to my grandma and grandpa Lundbohm's home in Roseau to celebrate Christmas Eve. By everyone, I mean all nine of my cousins! There are three uncles, three aunts, my brother, and my parents. Sometimes it even includes a couple dogs and a foreign exchange student. Well, the foreign exchange student was just this year. There are several traditions that make this celebration special. This year I kept wondering what my presents were going to be. There was one present that has been on my list for a long time.

The first family tradition we do is, we all gather at my grandparent's house. Each family takes Christmas pictures in front of the Christmas tree and the huge pile of beautifully wrapped gifts, then we also do a group photo. My uncle always sets up a camera with a timer and has to run into the picture. We go to church and do the candlelight service and it is always a packed service. Then we go back to my grandparent's house to eat. Most of the food is delicious, except the stuffing. The adults and older kids sit at the adult table and the kids sit at the kid table. My grandma makes the tables look really fancy. We always have little gifts on the side to open when we're done eating. We usually have turkey and ham for the main course and for dessert we usually have cookie salad, caramel rolls, and lots of pie! For snacks and treats we have cookies, mini pies, and other delicious goodies. Everyone brings a dish to share. My family makes the cookie salad. I love eating krumkake and lefse, those are the Scandinavian classics. After we eat, the kids play in the basement and the adults keep eating, cleaning up all of the food, and visiting for about another hour. It's fun to play but it's hard to wait for the adults to get everything ready.

It feels like a long time, but we all come running when we hear grandpa whistle. When we get upstairs we are ready to play games and sing. Before we sing we hand out bells. My favorite song to sing is Jingle Bells and The Twelve Days of Christmas. I like the verse where you sing five golden rings. Before we open presents we read a passage from the Bible. It is Luke, chapter 2 verse 1-20. Then all of the kids hand out presents to everyone. We open presents youngest to oldest and everyone opens their presents one at a time. We also say who the present is from so we know who to thank. Sometimes in our excitement we rip off the tag. Then it's up to the parents to figure that out. Maybe this year I would get the gift I've been hoping for. One gift I really wanted this year was ice fishing gear and I got what I wanted! It was an IFishpro tip-up and two new ice fishing rods, but I didn't get the one that's been on my list for the last couple years. After everyone has opened their presents we all spend time together as a family. 

This year when my family got home we opened gifts out of our stockings. We got little gifts like treats and pop but there was a bigger box than usual in my stocking. I felt a lot of excitement because it looked about the right size for the one that I had been hoping for. I ripped into the package. Could it be? I got a gift that I wanted but wasn't expecting to get. It was a PlayStation 4. I didn't know I was getting it so it was a big surprise when I got it. I was so excited to try it out.

After the excitement of Christmas Eve we go to my cousin's house and sometimes I get to go ice fishing with them. On Poplar Lake we can catch Walleye, Crappie, Bluegills, Northerns, and other species of fish. They live in the country and the hills where they live are very big. We go sledding and snowboarding on these hills. Sometimes we go cross country skiing and then heat up in the sauna. We like to play with their dog. We also have gone ice skating with them. We always drink a lot of hot chocolate and eat a lot of snacks. My uncle makes amazing burgers, we call them L-dogs because his nickname is L-dog.

 Finally, this is why I love our Christmas traditions. Enjoying time with family, eating delicious food, and getting unexpected presents. I'm already looking forward to this year! Merry Christmas everyone!


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