This year is Crystal and Obinna Amobi’s first Christmas as parents, so they’ll share their traditions with their 9-month-old son, Elijah.
For example, he’ll join his parents on their annual trip to Ravenna’s Candy Cane Lane. The lit-up street reminds the Amobis of lights in Orange County, California, where they grew up.
Elijah will also sample Crystal’s Christmas cookies, and catch the Jose Gonzales Trio playing the music for A Charlie Brown Christmas at the Cornish Playhouse.
This is just a preamble for the main event, when the Amobis fly to California to spend two weeks with their families.
Christmas Eve will be dinner with Crystal’s family, followed by Catholic midnight mass with Obinna’s family at his childhood church. On Christmas Day, there will be a large celebration at Obinna’s family’s house, made larger by the addition of Elijah and Obinna’s eldest brother’s new baby. Obinna also has a new brother-in-law, who is bringing tamales to the family’s usual turkey dinner.
The Amobis plan to spend a week at each of their parents’ homes, giving the grandparents equal access to Elijah. They look forward to having grandparents around as backup baby care.
In the days following Christmas, Crystal’s family will hold their annual gingerbread house contest. They all get together and construct creations out of gingerbread, royal icing, Rice Krispie treats and assorted candy, such as Twizzlers and Jolly Ranchers.
Past themes include Harry Potter, Snoopy and Star Wars.
“It’s exciting to do all these fun, cozy winter holiday things,” says Crystal.