OHIO VALLEY — Every year Christmas rolls around, and it means a time to gather with relatives for many. Everyone has different traditions and things that are meaningful to them. Area residents were asked what they do at Christmas.
For some, it is gathering on Christmas Eve and opening one present. For others, it involves giving all the gifts that night.
“On Christmas Eve my family gathers at our house, and we listen to Christmas music, watch classic Christmas movies and open a gift. It’s all about enjoying time together as a family,” Cari Justis said.
The sentiment was shared by many as holiday shopping gives way to holiday goodies, family stories and Christmas sweaters. Each family has unique traditions that make the holiday special. They are a reminder of childhood dreams.
“We all put up the tree, decorate it and plug in the Christmas lights. Then we turn out all the lights in the house, and we all lie down on the floor on our backs and stare up through the tree. It is strange, but peaceful and relaxing, and we’ve always done it — since I was little,” April Bush of Meigs County said.
Decorating for the holidays, especially the outside of homes and businesses, is a tradition in the area. Homes and businesses become dressed with lights, tinsel, snowmen and stars for the holidays.
The holidays would not be the holidays without music. Listening to and singing Christmas music are a part of many family traditions.
“Singing Christmas songs with my grandma, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world,” said Shawntay Garnes.
Faith also plays an important part in many family traditions, old and new.
“It’s a ‘new’ tradition for us, as we are just now establishing our family traditions, but it is one from my childhood. Before Christmas Eve services we open one little gift to take to service with us, and we sing Christmas songs and then read scripture from the Bible relating to gifts from Christ. Then, we lay our family Bible open under the tree, say a prayer and turn out all the lights except the tree. When we come home, the whole house is dark except the Bible lit up by the tree’s lights. It was always a great, warm feeling to see before going to bed on Christmas Eve as a kid,” said Miranda McKnight.
The holidays are a time to share with family and friends moments of life. It is life that is so precious, and Christmas is a time to reflect together on those moments that bring laughter, tears and opportunity to remember one another.