Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. I love the whole season of good will and cheerfulness. I love the carols and the wonderful stories about Christmas like A Christmas Carol and The Best Christmas Pagent Ever and of course the story of the birth of our Savior found in Luke II. Growing up we had many different traditions, I’ll talk about a few of them here and also some traditions I am considering for my own little family.
Picture this: A large family sitting around the dinner table, or in a living room, with the patriarch of the family reading a book to the others. Soon his voice falters and he chokes up. He tries a few times to continue reading the touching story but finally the mother of the family says she’ll give it a try. She makes it a few more paragraphs before she too is unable to continue. At this point a brother (he doesn’t cry) offers to read while the rest of the family sniffs and wipes away tears. Beautiful, isn’t it?
Ok, so we didn’t always cry, but I really enjoyed it when we read christmas stories outloud as a family. Each year we would read a different chapter book, although my dad would always (still does, actually!) read Red Ranger Came Calling on Christmas Eve. This is one tradition I intend to keep up with my family.
Next on the list is making Christmas gifts by hand. We would draw names so we didn’t have to make a present for each of our 5 siblings, and keep the name a secret as we made them a gift. My dad would help us with woodworking gifts and my mom helped with sewing/crafting. I remember it being so fun to find out who had your name and what unique gift they came up with. I still love making gifts today. They seem more personal, and you put more of yourself and your time into them. They are love made tangible!
A final idea for Part I of this series is one we are doing this year. Secret Santa! The excitement and good feeling you get from this tradition is priceless. We would pick a family we knew that was either having hard times financially, or someone we felt could use a pick-up. The 12 days before Christmas we would deliver gifts of many different kinds to the family. Service is always a good idea, and nothing helps me feel the Christmas spirit more.
So, now it’s your turn! What is your favorite Christmas Tradition?