But then came the hard part — getting my dad out of bed.
He liked to take his time and build our anticipation as he pretended he was too tired to get out of bed or that he didn’t think Santa really would have stopped at our house. Those seemed like the longest minutes of our lives, jumping up and down on his bed, pulling and pleading until he finally gave in.
As a child, waking up early and trying to rouse my dad from bed was as much a Christmas tradition as attending the Christmas Eve candlelight services at our church and watching my mom and grandma rushing around to fix perfect holiday feasts. It’s what memories are made of.
Many of the traditions my family follows have been passed down from my grandma, Eileen Volkert. Grandma always prepared a feast — no matter the holiday. And when my grandparents came to our home for a holiday meal, my grandma would always bring a new kitchen towel for my mom — a tradition she said had been started by my great-grandmother.
These yearly traditions turn into treasured memories that are passed down from generation to generation. I’m quite sure that when my daughter grows old enough to host her own holiday meal, I’ll be there with kitchen towel in hand.
This month’s cover story delivers ideas for getting you and your family into the holiday spirit with 10 things to do in Stark County and Northeast Ohio. From lighting displays and theater to the Christmas Story house in Cleveland, Dan Kane tells us about some of the best events of the season. And don’t miss Jim Hillibish’s scoop on holiday appetizers from some of the area’s restaurant chefs.
Whatever the holiday you celebrate this season, may it be a joyful one. Relish in those family traditions you hold dear — and leave yourself open to creating new ones.
Darla A. Brown