There’s nothing quite like Christmas time, when all the houses are decorated with lights, and the Christmas trees are up and twinkling. But like many things in the South, Christmas time is also a season for family traditions that span many generations and become part of the holiday season. In fact, Southerners are known for creating family traditions that get passed down year after year, from parent to child. But these 4 Christmas traditions are our absolute favorite during the holidays.
1. Filling the House with Poinsettias
In our home, every Christmas our mother would head to the store and pick up a car full of poinsettias. They’d make their way outside on the porch, inside by the fireplace mantle, in the entryway of our home. Everywhere you turned, there were huge, red leaves that became part of the Christmas decor. Even now, it doesn’t feel like Christmas until we head to the store to pick up a bunch of poinsettia plants for our home.
2. Eating Ambrosia
If you’ve never had a bowl of ambrosia brought to your family’s Christmas potluck, you probably didn’t grow up in the South. I don’t know what it is about whipped cream, pecans, orange slices, pineapples, maraschino cherries, marshmallows, and coconut that make them so good when they’re mixed together, but it’s definitely not the holiday season without this culinary Christmas tradition.
3. Oyster Dressing
Christmas is prime oyster season, so if you live in a coastal Southern area (like Charleston), you probably grew up eating oysters on Christmas eve. Whether they’re served raw or baked into the Christmas stuffing, they almost always end up on the holiday dinner table. If you need a good oyster dressing recipe this year, try this great version from Lucy Buffet at the New York Times.
4. Front Door Wreaths
You know you’re in the South during the holidays when suddenly everyone has a wreath on their front door. From festive ornament ball wreaths to real homemade wreaths with fir leaves, it’s just not Christmas without a little door decor. Our favorite option is to make our own DIY door wreaths from leftover Christmas tree sprigs. Check out some of our favorite DIY wreath ideas on Pinterest.
What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions during the holidays? Share them with us in the comments!