25 Days of Joy Challenge: Day 24

Christmas Eve! The 24th Day of my challenge.

I made it down to Cape May, NJ to spend the holiday with JZ’s folks. I had excellent luck from catching a subway right away to not hitting any traffic. It was an easy, but long trip. When I finally arrived it was time for Rock and Rye!

JZ’s family has a lot of Christmas traditions, from a traditional Slovak dinner to drinking shots of Rock and Rye. The meal includes several soups, mushroom soup, sauerkraut soup, lima bean soup, pea soup; lots of poppy seeds, honey and raw garlic. There are a few different blessings as well, which add to the spirit of the evening.

JZ’s family is Catholic, as is my mother’s family who we always celebrated Christmas with, but the traditions don’t match. It’s interesting how much my Grannie Bird’s Italian-Nicaraguan traditions permeate my family culture. Growing up Christmas was always a time of way too much lasagna for the kids and lots of margaritas for the adults.

Usually we celebrated the Saturday after Christmas and my cousins and us would all sleep in Grannie Bird’s living room. My two younger cousins, my sisters and I always wrote and performed a play at family gatherings. It really was improv theater at its finest. Now that we’re all grown up, we don’t perform any more, which is a terrible loss for the arts (hahaha).

Thinking about how my family celebrates makes me even more excited to see what JZ’s family does tomorrow!

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