Traditions make Christmas unique
by Courtney Warren
Dec 19, 2013 | 1297 views | 0 0 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As blow up Christmas characters appear in lawns, advent candles are lit, and carols are sung, many families gather to celebrate traditions that have been in their families for generations.

"It's all about food with the Ferrettis," Haley Ferretti of Cleveland said.

"My Ferretti side of the family usually gets together (there's usually about 30 of us) and we have a Christmas dinner. The food is mostly Italian dishes. There's usually always some big discussion about the best dish and recipes are switched back and forth.

"Always spaghetti, a wet salad, homemade bread, these flat little cookies called pizzelles, and Italian cream cheese cake," added Ferretti.

While some focus on their heritage, others enjoy remembering loved ones during the holiday season.

Lyn Hubbard of Cleveland enjoys preparing a dish with her children that she used to make with her mother as a child.

"Every year, I prepare my mother's holiday dish of marinated green bean bundles. It was my favorite holiday dish as a child, and I now only make it three times a year, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, as a special treat, for my family.

"My children enjoy helping me prepare it every year, and it makes me feel connected with my mother still, even though she died 20 years ago," said Hubbard.

Hubbard also has an ongoing collection of ornaments that grows along with her family.

"I crossstitch one new ornament for my children each Christmas and they enjoy getting to select what the design may be.

"It is fun when we decorate our tree each year to pull out the ornaments from years past that I have made for them and remember our Christmas memories," she said.

Newly married, Haley Huerta Kelly and her husband Eric still get excited for Santa to come.

"This year on Christmas Day, we are all waking up and going to my parents house to open gifts to see what Santa has brought us and still bringing us as adults!

"My parents will make this huge deluxe breakfast with my mom's homemade biscuits," said Kelly.

Allyson Hardy's family likes to indulge their sweet tooth during the holidays and creates a gingerbread house each year.

"We always buy extra candy to add some special touches. The kids do the majority of the decorating," said Hardy.

Chelsea Hall of Cleveland enjoys several traditions that her family does on Christmas, including helping those who might not be able to have a Christmas.

"One Christmas tradition among my family is taking time to do something special for those who are underprivileged or under appreciated.

Even if it's something as small as taking an angel from an angel tree to buy gifts for or remembering the custodian at the local school. It's always been important to us to share our love with others on Christmas," Hall said.

Through the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Hall also mentioned how important it is to her family to focus on one another rather than immediately heading to the tree to unwrap gifts.

"Each year on Christmas morning my mom wakes up extra early and cooks a breakfast feast for my family.

"Before we open presents we all sit around the table and take a moment to acknowledge our greatest gift is, and always will be, each other," Hall explained.

Amy Johnston Tarver, daughter of Cleveland Attorney Robert Johnston said her father is a true character during the holidays.

"My father shoves all his Christmas presents under the chair he is sitting in, in hopes that we will forget he has any. It goes right along with his 'Scrooge'" routine," she said with a wink.

Her family also holds close to a typical household tradition of reading a story on Christmas Eve.

"Jeff does read the real Christmas story to our kids before they go to bed on Christmas Eve. It just seems right that he read it aloud," Tarver added.

Stockings are hung with care, presents are wrapped tight, and residents are preparing for celebrations full of many different and unique traditions, young and old.