Everyone has stories about family traditions that they look back on fondly, especially at Christmas. It’s the perfect time of year to add something meaningful and magical to the holiday season. We asked some locals about their own Christmas traditions, hoping you find something new to add to your own celebrations.
Casey Newsome, Burgess
For the Newsomes the holidays are about faith, family, food, and fun. Every year, the sisters and kids get together to make gingerbread houses “just for the fun of getting together.” There’s a lot of additional baking for family, neighbors and customers (the family run a restaurant aptly named “Newsome’s” in Burgess) “who may not have family.” There’s also a lot of family fun when they all participate in the Christmas decoration scavenger hunt. They split up into teams, hunting for specific decorations in downtown Kilmarnock. Once they find one, they take a picture. “We race to get all of them first. There’s no prize, it’s just for fun.” A particularly meaningful activity is to travel to the Church of the Latter Day Saints Temple in Washington, DC to see the live nativity scene and hear the musical performances.
Hundley’s family gets together to cook a Christmas Eve breakfast like many other families do, but this one has a twist. They prepare wild game: venison sausage, squirrel, quail, and frog legs are all on the menu.
Shannon Wilkens, Glebe Point
The spirit of the season takes on a different meaning for Wilkens. Christmas Eve is a time for him to visit with his father and share a drink or two, “usually a bourbon or some other cocktail.”
Catherine Swann, Reedville
For Swann, a retired reverend from Cople Episcopal Parish in Hague, any Christmas celebration “starts at church.”
James Minor, Warsaw
Minor agrees that any celebration begins with church. First attending the Christmas Eve service, followed by dinner “celebrating with family and friends.”
Tammy Cole, Tappahannock
Originally from Grayson County in southwest Virginia, Cole looks forward to traveling back home for the holidays every year despite the distance. In addition to the Christmas Eve dinner, games, and gift exchange, she smiles as she talks about “the pickin’ and a grinnin’’ that goes on afterwards in her musical family. “There’s guitars, banjos, and sometimes a mandolin and everybody sings,” Cole said.
For the full article, pick up the latest Northumberland Echo 12/26/18