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Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Vance is my dad. He is fifty-eight years old and lives in Delta, Utah. He grew up and has lived there for the majority of his life. He is the father of five children and has six grandchildren. He is kind and fun. He loves to play sports, be outdoors, and loves adventure. Vance loves to tease people, especially his wife, Marsha. Vance loves cars. He was raised fixing cars, because his father owned his own mechanical shop. Vance is an Electrical Supervisor at the Intermountain Power Service Corporation in Utah.
We were sitting in my parents’ kitchen just before lunch. My mom, Marsha, was making lunch for us, while I, my dad, and my husband talked. My mom would pipe into the conversation here and there. Every Christmas Eve while my Grandma Leila Lovell was living we had this punch. It didn’t have a name so we all just called it Grandma’s Christmas Eve Punch, but when my mom showed me the recipe it was titled Almond Punch, but none of us call it that. We only have this Punch on Christmas Eve. This isn’t just my immediate families’ tradition. Since it started with my Grandma Lovell, the rest of the Lovell children and some of the Lovell grandchildren continue on making the Christmas Eve Punch. When our Christmas Eve dinner was held at her house, we lined up long tables that filled the long living room. This was where the adults ate since it was on carpet. The kid table was at the kitchen table in case we spilled, and the teenagers were in the sun room. There wasn’t enough room for everyone in the living room, so Grandma Lovell thought it would be more enjoyable for all if we were sorted by our age group. She was right. We all had lots of fun and had many giggles.
Breanna: “Did Grandma Lovell always do the Christmas Eve Punch?”
Vance: “No, she didn’t start that until—until when? [He paused for a moment to think.] Probably about the time we got married. ‘Cause we didn’t—we always had a Christmas Eve dinner that was—“[Marsha interrupts.]
Marsha: Three of us got married the same year. [Vance and two of his siblings got married in the same year.]
V: Yeah that’s when she started it, because, uh, she got that recipe from somewhere. Anyway. [Long pause] Anyway she ended up startin’ to make it a little fancier when, uh, me, and Mark, and Darla got married. So yeah, she—that’s when she really started doing it. So anyway, and from then on it was always in the living room (of her house), well, except for the kids.
B: At the kid table, yeah, I never graduated from the kid table. We quit doin’ that before I got there.
V: Well, [pause] that’s cause you were one of the youngest.
B: Yeah. [We get up to go to the dining room table for lunch. He continues talking as we walk.]
V: So anyway, but after that it, uh, everybody like the punch so well that they started requesting that. [He imitates people asking my grandma and her response.] “You gonna make the punch, right?” “Yeah, I can.” So then it became a tradition.
We sat at the kitchen table in Vance’s house. He told the story with a very nonchalant attitude. He was playing solitaire on his phone while he was talking, which was the reason he talked slowly and the reason for his pauses. Normally he would have been a bit more focused and used his hands has he talked. After we stood up to go eat lunch he was a lot more focused and even did different voices to portray his mom and some random family member. As you can tell this recipe has been loved. It has stains all over it and has even been added to it or changed slightly from ginger ale to sprite. I believe it was my mother who changed it.
Lynne S. McNeill
Semester and year
Nielson, Breanna, "Grandma’s Christmas Eve Punch" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 434.
Additional FilesGrandma's Christmas Eve Punch Recipe.jpg (2386 kB)