Tis the season, hopefully, to take a break from work, school, softball and whatever else is the normal routine to enjoy the holidays.
For many, Christmas is a time of making special plans with family and friends and enjoying traditions--some new, some old--that bring people together.
Below are some of the responses we’ve received from softball friends when they were asked: “What are your Christmas plans and/or traditions?”
Feel free to email us yours if you’d like to share! Send to: email@example.com.
We’ll be adding to the list over the next few days so it’s not too late!
For my family, we try to appreciate the reason for Christmas--the birth of Jesus Christ--and make that a focus. We’ll watch The Nativity Story, a very well-done movie from 2006 (sidenote: I just noticed that the actor playing Joseph, Oscar Isaac, is Poe Dameron in the most recent Star Wars movies!).
My wife, Bonnie, also started a tradition where we hang stockings over the fireplace and include a white one that represents the Lord so he is remembered and celebrated too as part of our Christmas.
And in the white stocking each family member inserts a note stating one way he or she will try to improve in the New Year.
--- Brentt Eads, Extra Inning Softball
Each year, every team I have ever coached must do a philanthropy project of some kind.
No help from parents or coaches, just choose your cause and help change the world. In years past I have had teams donate time at senior centers, make blankets and care packages for the homeless, do food or toy drives and several other inspiring projects.
This past year our 14’s donated items to an animal shelter and our 16’s helped packing food for a women's shelter.
Both teams then did a toy drive for a ministry that allowed families in need to come in and “shop” for Christmas presents for their children. This is by far my favorite tradition.
--- Greg Borzilleri, Athletics - Mercado/Greg
We are doing our usual Christmas eve at my parents home with an awesome Italian Meal and gift exchange. Then--on Christmas Day--Liz, Kinsey , Avery and I are flying to New York City with Liz’s parents, her sister and our nephew. We will see a couple shows (Hamilton and Lion King) as well as do the NYC tourist stuff - should be a great time!
One tradition that we do each year is actually an “End of the Season” party. This will be our 18th “End of the Season Christmas Tree Bonfire.”
We ask everyone to save their real Christmas trees and bring them to my house and the first Friday or Saturday after the New Year we have a big party and burn the Christmas trees. If you have seen a dead Christmas tree burn it’s actually pretty remarkable.
We do that while a corn hole tournament is played, lots of good food, and some ping-pong chase as well. I currently have 47 trees to burn.
The most I have ever collected in one year is 163 trees; I turned it into a competition and a couple dads went nuts gathering trees, we couldn’t burn them all in one night as Liz shut us down at 2 am!
--- T.J. Goelz, Tampa Mustangs
Because we are the only ones in both sides of our families that live out of state, we typically travel for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. This year we are home for Christmas!
We start the morning around 7 am (or later) since we now have teenagers in the house. You know they enjoy their sleep.
We turn on Manheim Steam Roller (really loud), have hot chocolate and open gifts.
Typically, we just hang out all day and then the real tradition is going out to eat at the local Chinese Buffet for Christmas!
Seriously, we have done this since the kids were babies so each year for 17 years now we have had Chinese dinner for our Christmas dinner!
I know it seems crazy and a weird tradition, but if you are at our house or we are at your house for Christmas, you must join us too!
--- Courtney Blades-Rogers, Firecrackers-Sewell
I’m not doing anything special, all my four kids are coming to my house and all eight grandkids (5 grandsons and three granddaughters). It’ll be crazy but fun.
--- Greg Schnute, East Cobb Bullets
We have seven kids and four grandkids and we’ll have five of the kids at our home for Christmas as well being planning for two weddings coming up so we’ll be busy the next few weeks!
Here’s Christmas at the Carpenter house: we set up early--most years a week before Thanksgiving--and we “geek out” with Christmas decorations including having seven Christmas trees around our house with one of those being a 15-foot tree. We’ll watch some football and some movies--we like White Christmas and Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby--and hang out at home.
--- John Carpenter, Texas Bombers
I’ll rest up and spend time with family, I’ll stay local, in Douglassville, Georgia, to spend time with my parents and kids.
--- Lincoln Martin, Georgia Impact
My family will be attending our annual Christmas Eve Church service. Also enjoying our family being together is special and lots of fun!
I’m the youngest of 5 kids so we have big Christmases when we are all together especially when grandparents get here!
What’s better than the Reason for the Season, Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas everyone!
--- Taylor Snow, pitcher, Texas Glory-Shelton
I'm always at home with my family for Christmas, it's very traditional! A favorite past time for me has been catching a bullpen for my daughter on Christmas Eve.
--- Mike Mertz, Virginia Glory
What are your doing for Christmas or Christmas break? What is your favorite tradition or memory? E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may include on our site or on our social media pages!