Eli Lowry from Troop 322 talks about ordering your Christmas wreaths and trees before Oct. 29th

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It seems everyone anticipates December 24th because it is a special day to spend with family. Christmas Eve is a quiet night. Not much happening as far as activities in the community. All businesses are usually closed; people are snuggled in their homes.

‘twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, all sorts of memories were being made! Christmas Eve is the perfect night to spend time as a family having fun, laughing and remembering what this holiday is all about. You probably have some family Christmas Eve traditions of your own that you look forward to year after year. I would like to share with you some of our family traditions that we have carried on.

In our family it is tradition to attend Christmas Eve service. I grew up Catholic and I always enjoyed going to midnight mass. Roxie’s family is Lutheran and the candlelight service was their family tradition. We continue to attend Christmas Eve service every year.

Another family tradition has been that the father or grandfather reads the Christmas story out of the Bible. When we are all gathered around the tree, before we open presents we read the Christmas story. Roxie and I changed that up recently and asked our grandchildren to read the story. Sometimes you start new traditions.

When our children were living at home, we started a tradition of someone taking a present under the tree. Whoever’s present that was, the person giving the present would say something kind to that person, like why they appreciated them, or why they loved them.

As far as food went, Raymo family tradition was oyster stew, with lots of oysters in the stew. My mother would always invite friends and neighbors over Christmas Eve day for oyster stew. Roxie’s family ate lefsa, lutefisk and ham balls.  A typical Norwegian meal. When our children lived at home we would have a large dinner. Ham, meatballs, turkey, mashed potatoes with lots of gravy, and green bean casserole. Roxie makes the kids favorite food for Christmas Eve dinner.

Another big tradition is later on in the evening our family would always play some sort of board game. When I was younger, I remember my parents and grandparents always playing cards. I hated card playing and still do. Our kids loved to play Pictionary, Scrabble, Life and Monopoly. Some of the best laughs of the night happened playing board games.

Watching a favorite Christmas movie on Christmas Eve is fun to. Our family loves to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, or Elf, and Christmas Vacation. My favorite is watching the Yule log!!

It is always interesting to hear of other familie’s Christmas Eve traditions. Some are very unique and would be fun to incorporate into our family. Enjoy your Christmas Eve with your family. Merry Christmas!

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Some people go hog wild putting Christmas lights up. Outside their home, inside their home, on garages, barns, trees, just about anywhere. Of course, when I think about Christmas lights on homes, I always think of Chevy Chase’s house in the movie Christmas Vacation! Now that was awesome!  Realistically that would be a lot of work to do.

 In previous years we have put lights on the outside of our house. Not this year, we were too tired. That is our excuse. The weather has been fantastic for putting up outdoor lights, but my wife and I have no ambition to do so. I think we are turning into Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis in Christmas with the Kranks. We finally put up our tree last Sunday and found it to be quite a chore

Actually, putting the Christmas tree up in your home should be a festive event. It should look like a scene from a Hallmark movie with Christmas music playing, people sipping hot chocolate, and everyone enjoying the moment. That didn’t happen! Lights were tangled, the tree stand broke, and we argued over the lights. She wanted white lights, I wanted blue lights. I thought we had enough lights on the tree, but she said we needed more.  It was a fun afternoon. That is how our marriage works, we disagree and still have fun and enjoy each others company. It’s weird I know. Top it all off my hot chocolate wasn’t hot anymore. Merry Christmas

Before I am accused of being a Grinch, I will say I do really enjoy most Christmas movies. Christmas Vacation is my favorite. I can watch that movie over and over again and laugh every time. The characters are funny. The story is great, and one of the best characters in any movie ever is cousin Eddie. Randy Quaid plays that part very well. His quotes in the movie are spectacular, “You serious Clark,” “If you scratch his belly Clark, he will love you till the day you die,” “You glad to see us Clark?”

Other Christmas movies that I enjoy. It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and Elf. Yes, I do enjoy Elf because I am a big fan of Will Ferrel. I don’t care for Miracle on 34th Street. Home Alone is ok.

As for Christmas music, I can listen to a few songs, but not all day long! Some radio stations play just Christmas music in December. I want my regular oldies songs. I get teased for not liking Christmas music. Does anyone else feel this way? Now when I say Christmas music I’m not talking about the old church hymns, but songs like I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus or Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer. It feels good to get this off my chest. I feel better now.

I know I sound like a big Scrooge, but I am just not into the Christmas spirit yet. Maybe we need some snow on the ground. I guess I need to focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. I know that will get me excited about the season. It always does. Focus your thoughts on Jesus this holiday season and things will be just fine. He is the reason for the season.

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