A certain song begins to play in the car, and instantly you are back in your grandmother’s living room many Christmases ago. Or, a movie comes on, and all you can think of is the time you watched it with your parents, snuggled under blankets and drinking hot chocolate on the couch. Hot chocolate in the living room was not allowed…except at Christmas time. :)
For some of us, these special memories were a once-in-a-lifetime event but others became a family tradition.
Traditions are important. They keep us connected to family and friends, even when we can’t be with them or they are no longer with us.
We also anticipate the future. We can’t help but wonder (or plan for) what our lives will be like next year when this tradition rolls around again.
It’s funny really how traditions have us remembering the past but looking to the future.
Here are a few of our own traditions and some our friends have shared with us. They run the gamut – from silly to heartfelt, from old to new. But you know the saying, variety is the spice of life!
Our very own Anna Brakefield (the daughter partner and marketing guru of this whole Red Land Cotton thing!) has a tradition, 10-years running, of Game Night on Christmas Eve.
Close friends and family start the night together at church and then end playing board games (and eating!) at someone’s house. To keep the tradition fresh, the host rotates each year. One great thing (besides the laughter shared with loved ones) is that everyone behaves…no bickering over game rules or being poor losers. See, no one wants to be added to the Naughty List on Christmas Eve!
Here are just a few of their favorites:
The Yeager family is a BIG fan of Star Wars. That's right... it's not all Andy Griffith and John Wayne at the farm. From the time the kids were in high school and they started releasing the new episodes to now, if there is a new Star Wars episode out, the WHOLE family will go to the theater together. That includes new spouses or girlfriends/boyfriends. Then they all ride home and analyze the movies... which can never compare to the original episodes... never.
All About The Food
The Yeager's are big believers in the "if it ain't broke — don't fix it" philosophy when it comes to food (and most other things on the farm). So on Christmas Eve day, the Yeager women are in the kitchen making the classics to enjoy on Christmas Day. They would accept any male help of course ... but sometimes you don't need a bull in the china shop ;). By now, they have it down to a science. From their deviled eggs featuring Wickles Pickles relish to their super spicy sausage balls for Christmas morning, their kitchen is full of familiar aromas, laughter, and conversation.
My husband and I began the tradition of eating at Sonic on Christmas Eve the second year we were married, way back in 2004.
It all started because we had the idea of making WhoHash, a nod to all things Grinchy, for dinner on Christmas Eve night the first year we were married. For the sake of brevity, let’s just say the WhoHash didn’t turn out so well. (I struggle in the kitchen; I am great with the clean up, though!)
After that disastrous dinner, we changed plans the next year. We ended up at Sonic and keep returning year after year. After our bacon cheeseburgers, cheese sticks, tater tots covered with everything we can think of and, of course, a milkshake, we roll home to enjoy It’s a Wonderful Life.
We Get Traditions
At Red Land Cotton, we get the "tradition" thing. Our whole business is built on a family tradition!
We’ve been farming for 3 generations now. Each time we pick our cotton, we are reminded of those who picked before us. We reminisce about the old times and of the loved ones already gone. But, as traditions often cause us to do, we begin thinking of the next year…when we’ll do it all again.
Thank you for a playing a part in our farming tradition. It’s one we plan to carry on for many more years.
We hope your holidays are filled with wonderful traditions - silly, sincere, old and new. May those traditions have you anticipating the future and feeling closer to God and to your loved ones.
By: Rachel Eubanks, a girl blessed with a small-town Alabama raising. She grew a deep appreciation for farming as she watched her father, an extension agent, work alongside farmers for over 30 years. She now lives outside of Huntsville, AL and loves writing for farm-to-product companies like RLC.