Godshall’s Favorite Holiday Traditions

Traditions are important.  They give us something to look forward to, create bonds among family and friends, and provide a constant during stressful and difficult times.  Christmas sparks some of our favorite traditions!  Whether it’s a certain meal, family ornaments, Christmas Eve game night, or attending church with family, here are a few of our favorite traditions at the holidays:


My favorite holiday tradition growing up was my mother’s annual Christmas Cookie Swap. Each person would bring a dozen cookies and leave with a dozen they chose from other’s selections. Inevitably, there was a lot of food leftover and so my friends would come over afterwards to “clean up.” – Hannah Spellmeyer

snowinmountains-630x423.pngMany of my Christmas memories are from our times in Montana with my dad’s family.  One of my favorite Christmas visits was the last year of my dad’s life.  It was an extra snowy and extra cold year.  My southern mom did her usual vow of “I am never leaving the house”– and she left the house only once on what we thought would be our week Christmas vacation.  My cruise director style aunt had every second planned, including a sunset horsedrawn sleigh ride.  We didn’t know that our sleigh was a huge flatbed that was usually used for feeding buffalo.  Quite shocking to realize a herd of buffalo was charging straight for you!  The week also included lighting fireworks in several feet of snow.  I loved watching my southern brother light the fireworks and then try to run away from them in over a foot of snow.  Then one foggy Christmas Eve – the fog wouldn’t leave….we were stuck in Montana for another week.  My dad got to spend an extra week with his family in his home state…..divine intervention – Christmas miracle! – Katherine Ericson

2014-12-11-5_PortlandPeacockLaneLights.jpgI am the oldest of three girls and traditions are very important to all of us.  I would have to say my most favorite family tradition is how we spend Christmas Eve. Every year, our family attends our church’s candlelight service then we proceed to drive the “long way” home, which means spiraling through several neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. Once home, we have hors d’oeuvres for dinner, open one present each, and wrap up the night by watching the original “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” – Rebecca Faulk

sm_st_marks_candlelightNothing sets the stage like attending the Christmas Eve family service at First Presbyterian Church.  Christmas carols, nativity scene, and ends with Silent Night in the dark.  We’ve never missed a year, and even our 16 and 17 year-old boys still look forward to it every year.  A peaceful start to a busy evening! From church, we head over to Julie’s parent’s home.  Mrs. Godshall cooks a good ole’ country breakfast for dinner.  Apple cider is always brewing and we work hard to coax our son Alex to play Carol of the Bells on the living room piano.  Once dinner is complete, we look forward to opening a few early presents given from each other. When the kids were younger, we had to rush home to spread reindeer food on the lawn so that Santa did not miss us.- Drew and Julie Brown

Capture.PNGOne of my favorite holiday traditions is every year Santa leaves a letter in the tree which is the first clue for a Scavenger Hunt!  My kids have a great time running all over the house looking for the clues which will lead them to the first present they open. – Carol Tribby

board-gamesEvery year that we are in Bennettsville on Christmas night, we go over to my childhood best friend’s house and play games—board games, card games, etc.  Some of these games he and I have been playing since our teens–the boxes are in tatters.  Even my husband now looks forward to it.  There is always good competition, lots of laughs, and fun memories made.- Karen Truesdale

polar-express-3Since the birth of our son, Corey, each Christmas we have chosen a special ornament for our Christmas tree.  The ornament is engraved with his name and the year.  Each one is unique and represents something he has accomplished during that year (ex. his first Christmas, Tae-kwon-do black belt, silver bell for Polar Express adventure, etc.)  Corey is now twenty years old,  but he still looks forward to his shiny new ornament and is proud to show off his older gems to his friends when visiting.  It makes our tree even more special and brings back so many memories. – Machelle Simmons

cookie-santa-photo-1.jpgGrowing up, our tradition was to spend Christmas Eve with grandparents and cousins. We would have a full Christmas dinner and it always included chicken and dressing and butter beans. After dinner, we would open gifts, which always made it feel like we had two Christmas celebrations! The last thing we would do was put out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer and try listening for the reindeer on the roof, while being forced to go to bed by our parents. – John Riddle

We hope you have a fantastic holiday season filled with your favorite family traditions and here’s to making more in 2017!