We caught up with founding member Cheryl Scott and asked her what her favorite Christmas traditions are. Here is what Cheryl had to say:
Usually the weekend before Christmas my dad would bring in a living tree no matter what country we were stationed in. The pungent smell of evergreen would permeate our home for the next few weeks. After he had added the lights, we children were allowed to decorate. It was a treasure hunt as we unwrapped heirloom ornaments collected from various generations and cultures. I can remember how I carefully hung my porcelain bell strategically on a particular branch only to find later that an elf hid it on another branch. I still love to sleep by a lit Christmas tree.
On Christmas Eve day, the smell of homemade treats wafted through our home as mom and I along with my younger sisters made sugar cookies (later we added dry cherry jello mix for color and flavor), Rice Krispie treats, hoot Nannies (a cinnamon sugar pastry), and various other desserts. Sometimes my Great Granny would ship us her especially delicious povotica nut bread. Then that evening we gathered around the tree to sing carols and read the Luke 2:1-20 nativity story. Afterwards we were allowed one or two treats along with our hot tea or hot cocoa. We would write our letter to Santa Claus and leave it with his cookies. Just before bedtime we would hang our handmade stockings which were crafted for each grandchild by our Nannie soon after our birth. My childhood stocking is still hung every Christmas Eve.
Excitement filled the air as our family gathered together for a Christmas dinner of baked chicken with bread stuffing, mashed potatoes, baby peas, savory gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, homemade rolls, real butter, pickles, olives, and fresh cut vegetables. I know we opened gifts that day but what I remember most is the fellowship we enjoyed even when we were far away from our extended family. Most Christmases my parents invited military or missionary guests who had no local family to celebrate with. We ate, sang, played games, and visited until late Christmas Day.