Christmas With The Baylor’s

Meshell Baylor
4 min readDec 28, 2022

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Christmas gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us.” — David Cameron

Christmas is one of the most highly anticipated holidays that my family looks forward at the end of the year. We are reminded that it is not about the presents or toys but spending time with family. During the month of November our family tradition starts off with a heads or tails coin toss in who is hosting family dinner at their home for the holidays. Once the coin toss is done each family member gets to participate in our family secret Santa game. Secret Santa is the best game because each family member gets to pick 3 names out of our Santa hat and from there you are responsible for those three members holiday things. While preparing for the holiday’s such as getting ornaments out of the garage watching the men of the family put the lights around the house and the little girls make paper snowflakes, I love finding new games for my competitive family to play.

Our family loves a good competition, my mother who is the matriarch of our family believes she is mixture of both Aretha Franklin and Ali. When it comes to competition the diva never backs down and will give you the best performance of her life. My younger sister Jay is another competitive bird whether it’s a game of spades or karaoke she lets you know she came to slay and win. My bestie Kolee is one of the most animated persons in our family games when she plays expect lots of laughs and giggles because she cannot take the game seriously. There leaves my brother-in-law Rod the Dj, the card boss and the player who is ready to let you know he plans to win by any means necessary.

As we approach the days leading up to Christmas, we prepare our traditional dishes. Our family having southern roots love preparing dressing, Cornish hens, ham, macaroni and cheese and our most favorite southern treat gumbo. Gumbo is one of our families most popular meals a creole soup that many southerners cook in Louisiana. Once everything is cooked and prepared on Christmas eve we prepare for a game of spades. Spades is a card game that can get pretty heavy when you have a family that loves to win. Each person playing is animated in their language, demeanor and body posture, a game of spades is like trying to win the Olympic gold. The funniest moments are how each person is wearing elf ears or an elf hat talking smack while trying to win.

After a long game of spades, we head onto the living room for Christmas karaoke. Karaoke is traditional contest that our family loves to play we have 3 gift cards for the 3rd place, 2nd and 1st place. Karaoke brings children and family together in which you sing your heart out to a Christmas tune or pretend you’re a famous singer. The object of the game is to give the best performance and sing the complete song until the end. I love watching all the children and adults in the living room by the fireplace using the remote control as a microphone pretending to be someone famous.

Once all the games are done and contest completed, we pass out our traditional Christmas stockings. Instead of one gift from the tree we give our Christmas stockings which are filled with gift cards, movies, socks, puzzles and various goodies. Children and adults are super shocked to see what goodies Santa place in the stockings with care. As everyone sits in the living room pulling items from their stocking mom prepares egg nogg and hot coco and we sing Christmas carols. The food is all cooked and everyone’s open their Christmas eve gift, they head off to bed looking forward to Christmas morning.

I wake up at 6:30 am to make Christmas breakfast a table filled with fresh chopped fruit, biscuits, bacon, eggs and chocolate chip pancakes. Everyone awakes wearing their red and black plaid pajamas and we sit by tree passing out gifts and taking pictures. The electric fireplace on buzzing off heat while my son’s play nerf war running around the living room with their uncle. Lots of laughter, fun and games while we take some pictures and play more holiday games. Kids playing with toys on the floor and my sisters trying on their brand-new Christmas robes. We end the day with Christmas dinner listening to Run-D.M. C’s Christmas in Hollis playing in the background. This type of traditions truly shows me that Christmas is more about spending time with loved ones and making memories to cherish.

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Meshell Baylor

Author of I’m A Little Big Brother 2016 editor’s choice LA Parent Magazine for Entering the World of Oz with Justin Author of poem To All the mothers!