Fox News contributor Sean Duffy reveals the 'honor' and joy of Christmas Day

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The Christmas season may mean different things to different people, but Sean Duffy — former representative from Wisconsin and co-author of the new book “All American Christmas”has strong feelings about what Christmas means to him and his family, including his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy, and their nine children. 

The Duffys “fully embrace the whole holiday season from Advent (the four weeks leading up to Christmas) all the way through to Epiphany, or Three Kings’ Day, which is on January 6,” as they detail in their introduction.

Sean Duffy and his ten siblings (yes, ten) grew up in northern Wisconsin and were raised Catholic. 

He and his family “celebrated a very traditional all American kind of Christmas,” he says in the “Joy of Faith” section of the book.  

Former congressman Sean Duffy and current Fox News contributor is co-author of "All American Christmas," the new best-seller.
(Fox News)

And that meant, In his already busy, bustling household, that “our house was always full of people” during the holidays, he says.

Which, in turn, meant that his mom went into “overdrive” in terms of preparing food for her own family, plus all the friends and guests who dropped by during the holidays. 

She also went out of her way to bake what Duffy calls “the most delicious, 100 percent homemade, organic Christmas cutout cookies in the world. Sometimes she even grinds her own flour.” 

“But cookies,” adds the former congressman and current Fox News Media contributor, “weren’t the only tasty Christmas treats in our house.” 

Read on to see what else was usually afoot during his growing-up years each Christmas — and what remains, above all, the central focus of (and the reason for) this blessed and happy holiday season.

Enjoy these Christmas memories from Sean Duffy

Sean Duffy in All American Christmas: My Irish grandma Eve’s mincemeat pie was [a] big deal. Growing up, I thought everyone had mincemeat pies at Christmas.

The two main ingredients to mincemeat are meat and apples. I know this because my siblings and I used to battle over who would get to grind up the apples and who would grind up the meat. The grinder was the coolest part of the process. As a kid, it was so much fun to watch whole chunks of meat or apples go in one end and a transformed shape and texture come out the other.

Can you find the mincemeat on this Christmas buffet table? (Must be there somewhere!) For Sean Duffy as a child growing up in northern Wisconsin, "the amazing smell" of the "spices and cooked apples" that went into his mom’s fresh mincemeat pies during the holidays "is truly the smell of Christmas for me." (File)

Using a kind of wooden plunger to push it through made the process even more fun. And when we finished all the hard work, the amazing smell of the spices and cooked apples melded together and wafted through the kitchen and throughout the house.

That is truly the smell of Christmas for me. My mom would make pie with the mincemeat, but she also canned some of it we could spread it on toast and get a little taste and reminder of Christmas later in the year …

[The Nativity scene also] played a central role in our celebration. 

In my home, the baby Jesus’s manger would remain empty until Christmas, when one child would be selected to place the figurine into the manger. Being selected to place the baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas morning was a big honor.

Rachel Campos-Duffy is co-author of ‘All American Christmas,’ in which she and her husband share their memories, traditions, and most meaningful aspects of the Christmas miracle — plus personal photos and more. 
(Fox News | iStock)

On Christmas morning, the kids would get up early, but we knew we could not go down the stairs until our parents were up and ready … We’d gather at the top of the stairs and peer down into the predawn half-light, scoping out what was beneath the tree.

Once my parents were up, we all had to sing “Away in a Manger” before we could fly down the stairs to see what Santa had brought us …

Rachel and I have joined together parts of our pasts to create a new present. 

Three of the Duffy children are shown in this joyful photo honoring the true meaning of the Christmas season. 
(Courtesy Duffy family / Jessica Kopecky)

From that union, we help shape how our kids will remember and celebrate Christmas long into the future and after we are gone. 

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On Christmas Day, after we pick up all the wrapping paper, and the kids play with their toys, and Rachel and I recover with a little catnap, we gather again to have a little birthday party for Jesus.

Excerpted from All American Christmas by Rachel Campos-Duffy and Sean Duffy. To purchase a copy, click here.

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