Yesterday, while having a Christmas lunch with co-workers, the discussion turned to old family traditions.
One woman told how each year she lights a candle to place in a window at her house – a call back to when being a Catholic had to be kept secret and the sight of that candle signaled to priests on the run that the house was a safe haven and welcome home. Some said how attending Midnight Mass as a family is something that is still done today. Others described the tradition of eating seven fishes to represent the seven sacraments. Still others spoke fondly of favorite and time-honored holiday dishes.
My own Italian American family would celebrate the day with the above-mentioned seven fishes. We would also set out an extra plate for any unexpected Christmas visitors – and on more than one Christmas Eve, that plate ended up being used.
That is one of the blessings of the holidays – religious and family traditions alike bring people together who share the same faith and heritage.
Are there any family traditions that you grew up with and still celebrate at Christmas time?