It is less than a week from Christmas Day, and that has me thinking about traditions…ones that we practice and have for many years and new traditions that I might want to start. I have friends that prepare certain recipes each year. There are others that wear certain clothing like new pajamas or Christmas sweaters. The first tradition that comes to mind for me includes cowbells and Santa hats. We somehow managed to gather several blue cowbells after I ran the Boston Marathon in 2011. The children are always able to find them on Christmas morning and run into our bedroom clanging them wearing Santa hats. I haven’t had a camera ready to capture this moment — probably because I am a bit fuzzy at that time. It’s a fabulous way to wake up on Christmas morning…or at least a quick way!
We have a relatively small immediate family and most live close to us, so we have been blessed with the ability to actually celebrate Christmas with most of our family at Christmas time. Our first Christmas celebration is usually on Christmas Eve, and that evening includes our church service. Only the lilies at Easter time may make the sanctuary more beautiful than it is on Christmas Eve. The dimmed lights and the candles upheld at the end of the service add to the beauty of the poinsettias and greenery. And now that our children are a bit older, I don’t worry as much about them catching the church on fire while we all sing “Silent Night”!
When I was a child, I remember getting to drive with my granny on Christmas afternoon. This was a big deal…mainly because I wasn’t old enough to be driving. If I helped her debone the turkey after the meal, then I got to go with her to haul the bones off to the pasture…this was the garbage can in the country!
I have a new tradition in mind this year. We talk with our children a great deal about Christmas being the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. We don’t sit and read the Christmas story from the Bible though. That is what I want to add this year. I know that Christmas Eve and Christmas day get crazy with going all the different places and all the excitement of presents and family and friends, so my plan is to read the story during breakfast on Christmas Eve. No, it will not be in front of a lit fireplace with everyone’s attention focused solely on the reader, but it’s a start!
Merry Christmas to all!