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Adding a Christmas tradition to family gathering

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Greg Peck
December 26, 2013

My grandkids are still asleep upstairs as I write this. They stay up way too late for “Papa,” who rises at 5 a.m. to prepare for his workday.

Lexie, now 12, and Remy, who will be 5 next month, arrived just after I got home from work about 1:30 p.m. Christmas Eve. We marked several Christmas traditions. We enjoyed a big Christmas Eve meal, followed by opening gifts. On Christmas Day, the kids joined their dad and me in a trip to a sledding hill. This time, we went to Janesville's Palmer Park and had the hill almost to ourselves. It wasn't as cold as I imagined, and the light snow falling seemed to add to the fun.

Back home, we returned to a game of holiday Bingo that we first played Christmas Eve. Lexie and her mom, Jill, devised the game and created the Bingo cards. Instead of numbers, they filled the cards with Christmas-themed words such as holiday, family, gifts, food and baby Jesus.

Jill had purchased lots of little prizes such as candy and other inexpensive items. One Bingo card seemed to leave the player struggling to win. My wife, Cheryl, played it Christmas Eve and probably got shut out for 10 games or so before finally shouting “Bingo.” On Christmas Day, my son, Josh, ran into the same long wait to victory.

All of us enjoyed the game and have vowed to add it to our holiday traditions.

Afterward, it was time to open gifts from “Packer Claus.” Jill, though she was raised in Chicago Bear country and has little use for football, has made this a holiday tradition, buying into our family's Packer fandom. She gets everyone a Packer-related item each Christmas. This year, all of us got the same thing—a pair of green and gold house socks, complete with a rubberized, white-lined playing field that creates no-slip bottoms. We all wore them and posed feet first for a family photo.

What Christmas traditions does your family observe?

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.



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