Saturday, December 19, 2009
I have always loved Christmas. I suppose everyone does. I believed in Santa Claus. He was my Christmas Tradition as a child. Childhood memories of Christmas traditions were mostly found on Christmas Eve when we would run out and do our Christmas shopping and then rush home and wrap our presents. We also put up our tree on Christmas Eve and while we decorated it my parents would get smashed. By the time my Brother and I went to bed their usually was a fight going on with a lot of yelling and screaming and throwing things I was so worried that Santa would not visit because of the fighting, but he always seemed to find a way to leave me a little present. I have discovered that traditions have to fit your circumstances. By the time I started my own family, I had embraced a much different life style than the one I grew up with. More importantly I had begun to realize the real meaning of Christmas. My new life style included my faith in Jesus Christ and my love for Him. There are so many wonderful traditions that come with the Christmas Season. Everytime I would hear of a tradition that someone had I would want to make it mine. I got a little overwhelmed and found that I could not do it all and I couldn't afford to do it all. So we settled on a few favorites. When Kim and Matt and Raquel were very young we started a tradition with some friends that I remember which was one of my favorites. We met at someone's house and once we were all together, we went through a stack of clothes and props that were in a box we had put together and each child dressed the part of the nativity. After a lot of noise, giggling, and a little bit of crying we were ready. We turned out the lights and lit all the candles in the room. Then someone would read from the Bible the Christmas Story and the kids would act it out. They took their parts very serious. There was a hush, and in the background music played softly. When the play was finished, we sang Away in the Manger and then ate Christmas cookies and drank hot chocolate and played games. We didn't keep this tradition very long because friends moved away and kids grew "too big". But it was one of my favorite alltime memories. Another favorite tradition that we use to do was "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Thats one that we continued to do till kids left home. We let the kids pick the "victim" and for twelve nights we rang their doorbell leaving gifts and running. The gifts were simple (one yule log, two Christmas Candles, Three Christmas cookies, four pine cones, etc). We would drive to the house and as we drove you could feel the excitement as the runner began pumping himself up for the run. The last day was Christmas eve and we would give twelve Sweet Rolls for their Christmas Morning Breakfast and we would stay and sing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" and reveal ourselves to the family. My favorite one was when Matt picked his Wrestling Coach to be our "victim". On the third day, I picked up our local town paper to read and there on the front page was a picture of the three days worth of gifts and a story about the coach and how his family was enjoying this experience. It was a mystery that was followed every day in the local paper with pictures of the daily gifts and a commentary. When the twelve days were finished we asked them not to reveal the giver because it would make it too hard to be able to continue with the tradition the next year. It was fun to read about it every day and made it more fun for the kids too. There are so many other traditions of baking, and stories, and decorations that make Christmas so much more than Santa Claus although he is till very important to me. When my younger children were a little older I was a single parent and struggeling to make ends meet we actually became a tradition for other families as we would find gifts and money and food and decorations on our porch that made our Christmas much happier. These gifts were received with tender and grateful hearts. All of you are grown now and my traditions are a little different, but I still keep some. It's fun to watch you develop your own and to see your little ones and not so little ones now get excited for this special holiday. I hop you all have a wonderful Christmas this year. Love you all!!!