Hoping to meet Christmas expectations

For the first time in more than three years, the Cumming family, with all the cousins, will be together for Christmas dinner.
The family has expanded, and with the expansion new traditions likely will be established. A grandchild will be the centre of attention.
We will, in our separate families, maintain most of our common traditions. But instead of the Christmas dinner taking place at my mother’s home, Don and Mags will host the family gathering this year.
With the town glowing with lights each night and snow finally on the ground again, everything is proceeding towards a traditional Christmas celebration.
My youngest son is allergic to real Christmas trees. Knowing this, we asked both sons if they would prefer an artificial tree or a real one this year.
No sooner was the question asked when both, in unison, declared that it had to be a real tree. An artificial tree would break our customs.
Christmas really is a time of traditions and each family creates their own customs for the season. The traditions are an important part of continuing family celebrations.
My future daughter-in-law, Meesun, who is from Seoul Korea, will experience her first Canadian Christmas and already is excited about the day. In Korea, a Buddhist country, Christmas is a religious holiday and family time.
The big family Korean celebration occurs on the Lunar New Year.
While visiting two weeks ago in Winnipeg, Meesun and I walked through a grocery store and she wondered what mincemeat tarts were.
Mincemeat tarts or pies always have been part of our English Christmas traditional meal. I tried to explain that mincemeat was a mixture of chopped dried fruits and spices, combined with shredded suet, and was a tradition of Christmas.
My grandmother Cumming always made her own mincemeat. It will be one more new food item that Meesun will taste.
Food is an integral part of Christmas. Our meals follow the customs and traditions of our heritage. In our family, the Christmas meal will include turkey, mashed potatoes, squash, turnips, green beans, sweet potato, salads, cranberries, and chestnut stuffing.
We all share in preparing dishes for the meal.
One of our treats for our Christmas meal is steamed plum pudding with sterling sauce. It is accompanied by fruit cake, at least three kinds of shortbread, sugar cookies, and more sweets.
“Dreams of sugar plums” still “dance in our heads” for our Christmas meal.
All of these treats will be new for Meesun. My son, Adam, has tried to explain all the traditions and customs of his Canadian Christmas to her and she is really excited to be celebrating a Canadian Christmas.
I hope we can meet her expectations.

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