Three Families’ Christmas Traditions from Uplift Families

POSTED BY on December 23, 2021

In our last TIPS Article before the Christmas holiday, Uplift Families Board Members Melanie Stoker and Ardice Lorscheider, along with Board President Abbie Vianes, share some of their family holiday traditions.  From our family to yours, we send our very best wishes for a loving, happy, and healthy Christmas.


Stoker Family Tradition

The family tradition that really surprised me when it caught on and withstood the test of time, was our "Back to Bethlehem" dinner.  It started out as a way for this very, tired mother of 9 to do something with the holiday dinner that would calm and remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. 

That Christmas Eve 25 years ago I could not do one more "giant" meal, so I baked a turkey, cut up veggies, and cheeses and pulled a large loaf of uncut bread apart (who knew I was ahead of my time on the Charcuterie Board scene!).  I laid a blanket on the floor and put candles all around.  We turned off the lights and turned on some soft church inspired Christmas music.  The peaceful feeling of that special meal has never ended.

All these years later, and with the addition of many daughters and sons – in law and 32 grandchildren, we continue the tradition of the Back to Bethlehem dinner - the one time that all 54 members of the Stoker family can reverently share a meal and remember the birth of the baby Jesus.   

Submitted by Uplift Families Board Member Melanie Stoker


Lorscheider Family Traditions

As a little girl my mother would give each of us children a new ornament to place on the Christmas tree.  Sometimes the ornament would represent something about that year that was significant to us. As we grew, so did the number of ornaments, and when we left home, we got to take all of our ornaments with us.  What was interesting was that my husband's family had a similar tradition so we had quite a few ornaments on our first Christmas tree. Now in my own family we carry on that tradition with our children.  They love placing my childhood ornaments on their own trees in their rooms and they get their own new ornament each year. 

A more recent tradition is making Grandmother Virginia's fudge.  My grandmother-in-law was known for her baking.  At Christmas time she would always make her famous chocolate fudge.  It was the holiday treat I looked forward to every Christmas season.  A few years ago, she passed away.  To remember her we got all the women in the family together to make her fudge, and we have done it ever since. I would say this is one of my favorite newer holiday traditions.

Submitted by Uplift Families Board Member Ardice Lorscheider


Burke Family Tradition

One of our favorite traditions actually began as a punishment! My sisters and I must have complained about dinners or were impatient if dinner was late.  As a consequence, Mother told us that there would be no dinners the week before Christmas, that all we would eat at dinner time would be bread, cheese and fruit. Well Mother began buying different types of breads and wonderful exotic fruits and delicious cheeses. The punishment became a real treat for us while lessening Mother’s workload. We looked forward to it every Christmas!

Submitted by Uplift Families Board President Abbie Vianes






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