23    Dec 20110 comments

Warmth, Joy: Our family holiday traditions

Holiday scenes are engraved, from early childhood, in our memories and in our hearts. Each of us, regardless of what holiday we celebrate, carries these indelible memories.

When we think Christmas, we recall images of Santa Claus. We hear “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” A beautifully decorated tree with piles of gaily wrapped presents under it. A dinner or two with several generations of family around the table.

A Christmas Eve church service or a performance of Handel’s “Messiah.” The last-minute shopping.  Red and green decorations.  In the UK, there’s the mandatory  Christmas pudding. In the US, there’s that mysterious inedible fruitcake that visits every home - some say there is only one and it makes the rounds!

When we think Chanukah, it's hard not to recall the fragrance of burning wax candles in our menorah or hanukkiah each of the eight nights. Delicious hot-out-of-the-frying-pan fried potato pancakes (latkes) with applesauce or sour cream. Chocolate coins (gelt) wrapped in gold foil. Eight nights of presents for the kids. Playing dreidl for nuts and chocolate chips. Blue, silver and white decorations. Fried pastries or delicious baklava for those from Mediterranean countries, or filled doughnuts (sufganiot) in Israel.

This year, as all ages gather to celebrate, take this opportunity to share your family history with all the generations in your family. Video the celebration. Take photos of everyone (and share them, clearly labeled as to who’s who, when and where it was taken). Have younger children ask senior relatives about holiday celebrations when the seniors were children.

Now that all the cooking and shopping is finished, sit back and enjoy the peace of the holiday with your family.

MyHeritage wishes you a happy holiday!

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