Your story makes me feel grateful for the way we spend the holiday.

We do Secret Santa. This includes friends and family. The whole lot. We put everyone’s name in a bowl and we each pick one person. That’s the only person we buy a gift for.

We also hand make gifts for the grandparents. It’s a cool family project and a great keepsake for the creators of our family.

My husband works at a hospital. Each year they provide Christmas Dinner and it’s so much food. Last year we didn’t cook it all and had tons left. This year we decided to go all out and freeze pack leftovers for his parents.

If not for that we would do a potluck which is what we do for all holiday meals. We actually did potluck for our wedding (no joke) and it worked out great. Potluck is just traditional for gatherings here because it makes others feel as if they’re a part of contributing. It’s supper fun. My husband always has a go to dish when we bring to other people’s gatherings but I like to be creative and do something different each time.

P.S. Here, Christmas is in the stores before Halloween even gets here. There’s candy and spooky stuff on one side of the aisle and fake Christmas, lights and wrap on the other. Once Halloween is over then Christmas is exploded all over the stores. It’s far too much and ridiculous.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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