It's hard to believe that Christmas Eve is just two days away. There is so much yet to do, and the flu has hit my family - putting a hitch in the holiday festivities. I am fortunate that I was not among those down with the flu, and my grandson Kamden was lucky, as well.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
It's hard to believe that Christmas Eve is just two days away. There is so much yet to do, and the flu has hit my family - putting a hitch in the holiday festivities. I am fortunate that I was not among those down with the flu, and my grandson Kamden was lucky, as well.
It looks like Kamden and I will be holding down the fort and making sure that Christmas happens - no matter what. My granddaughter Aubree will be coming up this weekend, and she will be helping me shop and bake cookies. I will have all day Sunday to do the wrapping, and Christmas Eve should be very relaxed and special.
Depending on how everyone feels, our Christmas Eve should go as follows: we'll have dinner first - probably homemade pizza, some eggnog, some steamed shrimp and some homemade cookies. The grandkids who are there will get to open one present, and then there will be the reading of " Twas the Night Before Christmas." I hope to be able to attend a Christmas Eve church service, as well.
After everyone leaves to go to their respective houses, I plan to get the TV remote and find one of my favorite movies to watch during the Christmas season. I have been so busy that I've not really made time to watch a lot of TV. Usually by now, I am maxed out on the Hallmark Channel. But this year, it just didn't happen that way.
I'm hoping that I will be able to find "It's a Wonderful Life,” "The Bells of St. Mary’s,” "Home Alone" or one of many different versions of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. I plan to stay up late on Christmas Eve, enjoy my Christmas tree and all of the lights in the house, make some hot cocoa and popcorn, and take some time to just breathe.
Below, you will be able to read about some of my readers and what their traditions of Christmas Eve are with their families. Some are very much like my own, and I especially like the one with the shrimp and cheese fondue LOL! I just might add that to my Christmas Eve next year!
As for all of you...may your Christmas be filled with magic, family traditions, peace, love, and the promise of hope for a happy and healthy 2018.  Have the merriest Christmas - each and every one.
Sara Wilt - "Opening just one gift as a child was my favorite. Now that I have children, I look forward to them opening one gift this Christmas Eve!"
Sandy House - "Going to the Christmas Eve service, and thanking the Lord for another healthy year."
Catherine Jones - "Going to church and enjoying the Christmas carols. And, then opening one present from Santa."
Sharon Morgan - "We always put up our real tree on Christmas Eve. My brother and I would be tucked into bed. The next morning we had gifts AND a beautifully decorated tree! Looking back on that, I wonder how much rest my parents got that night with all they had to do!"
Christine Taylor - "We always go to my mom's on Christmas Eve, and have since Madyson Rayner was born. Mom (Kay Vaughan) has started a tradition of taking some of the grandkids to Christmas Eve service, then we all come back to Mom's to open our presents from each other and watch the kids have a blast!!"
Randi Ann DiFonzo - "We always do shrimp and cheese fondue by candlelight and then Christmas service. Before we left for church we would line out driveway with luminaries. When our son went into the service and was in Germany on Christmas Eve, he did this for dinner in his barracks with his friends. It was such a great surprise when he called to get my cheese fondue recipe. Such wonderful memories and to know our children carry on traditions! Merry Christmas!"
Jodi Miller Miller - "We go to the cemetery to put flowers on my daddy's grave and talk about all the things we remember about him. I always buy Nathaniel new pajamas and a new ornament and let him open them on Christmas Eve. Then we watch a Christmas movie and talk about past Christmases. It's a time to remember all the good and funny things that have happened over the years."
Barb Martin Carpenter - "Our daughters have rented a cabin in the woods for us for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. We're all going to wake up there to our gifts, have dinner together and roast marshmallows in the fireplace. My oldest daughter is in the Army and will be joining us, making everything even more special, as she is deploying to Iraq in March.  A Christmas memory we'll never forget!"
Vickie Fortney Lewis - "We go to church for the candlelight service.  Afterward, we ride around looking at lights, and then home to some treats!"
Dott Biggs Whelan - "When Meredith was growing up and we lived in Louisiana, Joe would read her the "Cajun Night Before Christmas" as a bedtime story on Christmas Eve. Continued each year, even when she was in college at University of Hawaii!"
Cindy Wright - "I grew up in Mineral County, but live in Randolph, and it has always been midnight mass!  My momma's wish, so we keep it going!!"
Mikayla Dodge - "Christmas Day we travel all over visiting different relatives. We finish Christmas at my dad's house. No matter how late it is, what time it is, or how old we are, he always makes us put on our PJs and go to sleep (for about 20-30 minutes), then he barges in the room, yells "wake up - it's Christmas! Santa came!" and we go upstairs and open presents!"
Brenda Ruble West - "We have dinner in the evening, I put out the nativity. Then we turn off all the lights, except for the tree. Watch Christmas movies. Drink cocoa. With cookies. We open one gift. Then, we sleep in a little on Christmas Day. Then, we take it easy, just relax & enjoy!"
Judy Shriver - "Ours begins Christmas Eve with a lasagna dinner, gathered together with my Mom, siblings and our families, followed by opening gifts.  Then, I attend the candlelight service at church. Christmas Day is usually spent visiting various family homes, to eat and see what the kids got for Christmas. Day after is time for recuperation."