The Caskey Family

Our Family Christmas Traditions
November 28, 2007, 1:12 am
Filed under: Holidays

This year is especially exciting for me as a mother and wife, as we begin family traditions of our own. Some things are taken from Jeremy’s family, some from mine, and some are totally new to our family.

I have been reading a book called Let’s Make a Memory by Gloria Gaither and Shirley Dobson, and gleaning some ideas and being inspired to do specific things that call attention to God’s great work in the world and in our family. Our children are remembering things already (whether they will recall them later, or not, they are in their memory, I believe) and I want them to have sweet memories of events and times with each other and us that will remind them of God’s goodness to our family. Jeremy and I both have sweet memories of different times with our families and they bring joy and laughter to us years and years later.

So, here are a few things we are doing, or going to do . . .

Birthdays: Pick what you want to eat for the day. . .and usually a fun activity and friends over.

Baby’s Birth: When a new baby is born into the family, daddy serves the family green eggs and ham (just like my family did) the first morning mommy and baby are home.

Thanksgiving: Turkey and lots of good food – each family member requests at least one favorite dish, at the table we all share what we are grateful for. We invite family (of course) if we have it at our house, and other families and friends who don’t have family to spend the holiday with. The more the merrier!


  • Christmas tree put up on the day after Thanksgiving, and we talk about the meanings of items, such as Jesus being the greatest gift ever given, and everlasting life and the evergreen tree, and the lights representing Jesus as the Light of the World.
  • The manger scene gets put up while we talk about the Christmas story.
  • On Saint Nicholas Day, stockings will be opened, and everyone gets a book and a drink in their stocking.
  • Gifts aren’t labeled with actual names but “codenames” that are revealed on Christmas morning. This year the names for people are Donuts, Cupcake, Ice Cream and Banana Bread. Of course my codename is Ice Cream. . . the rest are a secret until Christmas morning. Next year they may be superhero names, or something else.
  • We will try to go to a live Nativity or a live Bethlehem (this is something my family did every year growing up).
  • One evening during the holiday season, we will all get into warm pajamas, fill sippy cups with warm milk and a thermos with chocolate milk for mom and dad (when the children get older they will all get it too – Elijah will get “fudgy moop” as he calls it, this year probably) and we drive around and look at Christmas lights.
  • Christmas Eve will include a candlelight service (if our church has one. . . and YEAH! this year our church does!) and one gift opened (chosen by the giver to be useful that night or first thing in the morning).
  • Christmas morning will start with Dad turning on the Christmas music to signal that everyone can get up and gather around the Christmas tree. He will read the Christmas Story from the Bible, then gift giving will begin, with youngest giving their gifts first to be opened one at a time. This does stretch out the gift-opening, but it makes it SO much more fun, and each person gets to observe each gift.
  • Christmas dinner consists of Chicken Kiev, noodles, gravy, peas and a yummy dessert (varies each year)
  • Merry’s Birthday begins at 7:21 P.M. and continues into the next day
  • The day after Christmas, we go pick out one ornament for each child to put on the tree for next year. When they begin their own family, they will hopefully have at least 18 ornaments to start their own tree.

What are your family traditions? Do tell!

3 Comments so far
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Enjoyed reading about your traditions. A fun one that we have is hiding the Christmas pickle in the tree and the child that finds it gets a prize. My sister-law started it and we have spent most Christmases with them(also a tradition) so it is fun to look for the pickle with cousins.
Love to you,

Comment by Kelly Lyle

I think the code name idea is so cute! I may have to steal that one for my family…the kids are always trying to figure out what their presents are in advance; what’s the fun in that? It seems like a lot of families open one present on Christmas Eve 🙂

We always make and decorate cookies, sit by a cozy fire, and pop in the DVD set of the Original Christmas Classics (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Frosty the Snowman, just to name a few).

That pickle idea sounds pretty interesting! I’ve never heard of a Christmas pickle…but anyways, I hope you have a lovely holiday! It sounds like you’ve got everything under control 🙂

Comment by Olivia

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I enjoy getting together with lots of family and friends and feasting, sharing what we are thankful for, singing thanksgiving hymns and songs, playing games.

For Christmas, our tradition is to go to my parents’ house. We enjoy cooking together, talking for hours, singing together. For presents, we all take turns and watch each other open gifts. I agree, it is more fun that way. We usually cook a nice breakfast before we open gifts.

Will you be home for Christmas? I’ll send you an e-mail. Hope to see you.

By the way, I enjoyed the thanksgiving pictures and the video of you and your sisters!

Comment by Cassie

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