Blended Family Traditions

By: Advent Devotional

Posted: January 1, 2021

Category: Daily Devotional

When Rob and I married 12 plus years ago, we began spending Thanksgiving with one of our families and then Christmas with the other, then flip-flopping the following year. Between my mom’s desire to have some of Rob’s family favorites when we shared the holiday meal at her home and my contributing a dish or two for his family’s meal, we introduced our new in-laws to dishes traditional to our own families-of-origin. My family’s Sweet Potato Casserole became a hit in Rob’s family and has spread to his brother’s wife’s family. My family loved Rob’s family’s Cranberry Waldorf Salad so much that even when we are not there for a holiday meal, they include it on the menu. I suppose this was one of the first ways we found to blend our family traditions!

Sweet Potato Casserole with Praline Topping

4-5 sweet potatoes, boiled with skin, then peeled and mashed          1 ¼ cup sugar
1 stick butter                                                                                                  1 large can milk 


1 cup light brown sugar                                ½ cup all purpose flour
6 tablespoons margarine, melted              1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, blend together sweet potatoes, sugar, butter and milk. Place in 9×13 dish, coated with spray. In a medium bowl, mix brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add margarine, vanilla, pecans, stirring until crumbly. Spread over casserole and bake for 45 minutes until browned and heated through.

(A new light version I found last year that I think is even better (sorry Aunt Ann) calls for 3 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes, ½ cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 egg white, 1 (5-oz.) can evaporated skimmed milk and 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla as the casserole portion in a 2 quart dish and adds ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the topping ingredients with only ½ cup nuts.)

~ Laura Frost

Cranberry Walnut Salad

2 cups raw cranberries, finely chopped           1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
3 cups mini marshmallows                                ½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
¾ cup sugar                                                          ¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups diced apples                                              1 cup whipping cream, whipped

Combine first 3 ingredients, cover and refrigerate overnight. Stir in apples, grapes, nuts, and salt. Fold in whipped cream and chill until served.

~ Rob Frost

Psalm 98

Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he has done marvelous things;
his right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
The Lord has made his salvation known
and revealed his righteousness to the nations.
He has remembered his love
and his faithfulness to Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.


Joy to the world! The Lord is come! Christ the King is born this Christmas Day. We praise You and thank You Lord, for the glorious gift of Your son, Jesus Christ. Though he was born in a lowly manger, He reigns in the magnificent heavens. Joy to the world! We pray this Christmas day for our family, friends, neighbors, for those close by and those who are far away. We pray for those who are alone or sick on Christmas and we pray for those who do not know the joy that Christmas brings. From east and west, from north and south, grant us peace, faith, hope, and love this most joyful Christmas day. Amen.