Old fashioned holiday tradition alive and well in the Heartland - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Old fashioned holiday tradition alive and well in the Heartland

While millions travel or shop, others focus on the traditional holiday meal.  That's the case at the Schmidt home near Altenburg, Missouri.

When it comes to Christmas it's all about love, family and long standing traditions.

Early Christmas Eve morning Carolyn Schmidt and husband Ray were already slaving away cooking a feast for a dozen to converge on their home later that day. 

"When the boys were little it used to be more important that they got gifts and now food is more important to them," Schmidt said.

Carolyn's started cooking early this week and now she's got the ham in the oven, fresh pie crust ready, dozens of cookies baked and Ray ready to serve. 

"If she needs something I'm there," said Ray Schmidt. 

There is more laughter and less stress in their home. For the Schmidt family, Christmas is about church, food, family and long standing traditions.

"Even my grandsons they weren't going to give up the decorated cookies that they've done now for about 15 years," said Carolyn Schmidt. 

Santa comes to the house and then we go to church again tomorrow and then we have a big gathering of 60-70 people," she said. "It's so big we usually need a community center. Everyone provides a different part of that meal."

In the living room, there's a nativity scene and train set that's been in the family for years. he Schmidts' message to all on Christmas Eve night is to cherish your love ones and hold to the true meaning of the season. For them, it's the star of wonder that makes Christmas season brilliant and bright.  

"We are the older generation and its up to us to continue that now," said Carolyn Schmidt. "Christmas is really important to us and the meal and church are a big part of that." 

About five dozen members of the Schmidt family will gather to share another feast on Christmas day. 

It seems old fashioned traditions are still around. 

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