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Christmas with my family

Updated on October 5, 2014
This is a rather old photo of us, before any of us kids were married (now we all are). Also, my father would want you to know that he's lost a lot of weight since this picture as taken.
This is a rather old photo of us, before any of us kids were married (now we all are). Also, my father would want you to know that he's lost a lot of weight since this picture as taken. | Source

Share some fun family traditions with the Alexander family

Our family always has great Christmas celebrations. Great food, plenty of love and lots of fun. Invite yourself in and join the festivities!

We have great Christmas celebrations

I'm happy to say that our family Christmases are much more like a Norman Rockwell painting than like a Robert Earl Keen song. We're a clean-living bunch and everyone is on speaking terms with everyone, so the holidays are a joy. At Christmas time we all gather together at someone's house for a day of fun and fellowship.

Christmas carol singing is mandatory before the gift exchange can start. Then we pass around the presents, and finally we eat. The rest of the day is spent relaxing.

We're so glad you came by to celebrate with us. Let's get the party started!

OK, we're all here! Let's see what everyone brought to the party!

Dad brought a poem!

My Dad has been a lover and writer of poetry all his life. Here's a poem he wrote many years ago about Christmas:

I'm FOR Christmas -- by Thomas M. Alexander

Perhaps 'tis not the very month, nor yet the very day

On which our Savior came to earth, be this as critics say

Perhaps we strain our budgets, too, when Christmas time is near

And bills we make for which we'll pay throughout the coming year

But I'm FOR Christmas nonetheless; I'll gladly give my reason

I'm for the sense of brotherhood that so pervades the season

I'm for the joy that fills one's heart for every creature living

I'm for the hope of Christmas day, the joy of Christmas giving

You say from pagan worship we obtain our Christmas tree

And that the day's ordained by man, and by no deity

And that some folks are hypocrites, that some are insincere

Who plot to cheat and to defraud while speaking Christmas cheer

But all the joys of Christmas time by far outweigh its ills

When I observe the heartfelt joy, the genuine goodwill

When sincere love is evidenced, I scarce pause to remember

That maybe Christ was born in May instead of in December

You speak of my "observing times", but none of you assays

To keep me from observing all the other holidays

We all keep Independence Day, we greet the New Year's morn

And celebrate the days on which our famous men were born

And shall I celebrate the day my country was set free

And not the day Christ came to bring eternal liberty?

Or shall I keep the birthday of the father of our nation

And fail to keep the birthday of the Author of salvation?

No, I'm FOR keeping Christmas still, despite what others say

Its evils come from evil hearts, they don't defile the day.

Observe the good and not the ill, for good hath e're a cost

If good and ill walk hand in hand, grasp both, lest both be lost.

Mom in her natural habitat -- the office of Carson Christian School.
Mom in her natural habitat -- the office of Carson Christian School.

Mom brought cake!

My mother's family loves this super-tart lemon cake. All three generations of us like to make it.

Cake ingredients:

  • 1 package of yellow cake mix
  • 3-ounce package of lemon Jello
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup oil

Glaze ingredients:

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions:

Mix all cake ingredients.

Bake in a greased and floured 9" x 13" pan at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until done.

Remove cake from oven.

Mix the glaze ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

Poke holes in the surface of the cake with a fork.

Pour glaze over cake.

Thomas and Jessica, husband-and-wife lawyers.
Thomas and Jessica, husband-and-wife lawyers.

Thomas brought an appetizer!

My brother Thomas, an attorney, brought good food and a funny story one year with this appetizer.

He wanted to make deviled eggs, but he didn't like the name of the dish. Being a minister, he wasn't pleased with including the word "devil" in any way (even though one of the dictionary definitions of devil is "to prepare (food, usually minced) with hot or savory seasoning"). So he decided that he would call his creation "Defeat the Devil Eggs"! But he would need to do more than just change the name, he thought. He needed some special ingredient that would signify the "spiritual transformation" of the dish.

He wandered the aisles at the grocery store, wondering what he could add, maybe some kind of "angel . . ." something or other? As he diligently perused the shelves, he found his ingredient! Miracle Whip!!! He prepared his dish and proudly brought it to the family Christmas gathering.

Source

When I asked him a few years later for his exact recipe, he couldn't remember it all, so I'll link you to a deviled eggs recipe from Sandra Lee, host of "Semi-Homemade Cooking" on the Food Network. Her recipe has relish in it, which I definitely remember was in Tom's recipe as well. Just substitute her mayo for Miracle Whip and you'll have a close approximation.

Diamond and Greg with Caramel.
Diamond and Greg with Caramel.

Greg brought a game!

My brother Greg followed in Dad's footsteps and became a civil engineer. He and his lovely wife, a schoolteacher, love to bring games to the family gatherings.

Have some fun with online versions of some of the games they have brought on various occasions:

Source
Source
Source

Joan brought a song! - "Yes, It's Jesus"

Source

Joan brought a song! - "Yes, It's Jesus"

I came up with these words after hearing the Christmas song "Must Be Santa" on the radio for the first time. I really liked the tune and the call-and-response structure, but I couldn't remember all the words that were in it. So I just made up my own words for the same tune.

You can hear the tune to "Must Be Santa" in the video below (performed by Lorne Greene). Here are my words, making the song, "Yes, It's Jesus"



Who came down to save the world? -- Jesus came down to save the world

Who was born to a virgin girl? -- Jesus was born to a virgin girl

Virgin girl, save the world

Yes, it's Jesus, Yes, it's Jesus, Yes, it's Jesus, Jesus Christ

Who was laid in a manger low? -- Jesus was laid in a manger low

Who was wrapped in swaddling clothes? -- Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes

Swaddling clothes, manger low, virgin girl, save the world

Yes, it's Jesus, Yes, it's Jesus, Yes, it's Jesus, Jesus Christ

Who was adored by wise men three? -- Jesus was adored by wise men three

Who was held on Joseph's knee? -- Jesus was held on Joseph's knee

Joseph's knee, wise men three, swaddling clothes, manger low, virgin girl, save the world

Yes, it's Jesus, Yes, it's Jesus, Yes, it's Jesus, Jesus Christ

Who was praised by the heavenly host? -- Jesus was praised by the heavenly host

Who was the Child of the Holy Ghost? -- Jesus was the Child of the Holy Ghost

Holy Ghost, heavenly host, Joseph's knee, wise men three, swaddling clothes, manger low, virgin girl, save the world

Yes, it's Jesus, Yes, it's Jesus, Yes, it's Jesus, Jesus Christ

Yes, it's Jesus, Yes, it's Jesus, Yes, it's Jesus, Jesus Christ

A very happy holiday to you and yours!

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    • profile image

      markzin1 2 years ago

      Thanks for sharing your Christmas with us. I really like your dad's poem. You sure have a model of a family. keep it up! Thanks for taking time to share these incredible family moments. I have also shared a Christmas poem. It is more of a summary of the entire period.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing the family experience. I enjoyed the poem by Dad and those deviled eggs are making me hungry.

    • Rhidawn profile image

      Rhidawn 5 years ago

      Such a beautiful family! Great lens and Merry Christmas!

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice lens, thanks for sharing with us, liked the poem your father wrote.

      Blessings to you and your family for the festive season and may 2012 be the best you have ever had. Blessed.

    • profile image

      ohcaroline 6 years ago

      You have a wonderful family Joan and rich in holiday traditions.

    • ItsAngel LM profile image

      ItsAngel LM 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing your christmas, what a great family

    • Wendy L Henderson profile image

      Wendy Henderson 6 years ago from PA

      Thank you for sharing your Christmas with us! :)

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Joan, this is very special. Thanks for sharing your family's Christmas traditions with me. My very favorite part was your dad's poem -- it is wonderful! May you and your lovely family have a very Merry Christmas!