Last year, we went to Florida for Christmas. We had great weather, enjoyed the beach, and also visited family there. But, I decided that I like to be home for Christmas. When I was a kid, we did the same thing almost every year (a few times, I remember going to South Dakota to see my Mom’s side of the family, but most years, we stayed in the area). I started reflecting about why I like to be home for Christmas. There’s just a special feeling that comes on the day, and I didn’t have that feeling being on the beach.
Like most kids, I loved Christmas. Unlike many adults, I still love Christmas. People tend to get disgusted by the commercialism of it. I understand that. But, like most things, we have choices about how we handle the negative in the world. I choose to enjoy my children’s excitement, and the opportunity to spend time with family. Most importantly, while we know Jesus was likely not born in December, it is a time to reflect on, and rejoice in His birth and what that means for us.
In a way, it sounds boring to do the same thing every year. But, as a kid, I looked forward to it. I want that for my kids. Isn’t that what tradition is? Doing the same, special things, over and over? Perhaps passing that on to future generations?
I decided to reach out to other bloggers and learn about their traditions. While I love continuing the old traditions, I think it’s also special to add some new ones along the way. My hope is that these will give you some inspiration to enjoy reflecting on your own traditions, and maybe give you ideas for starting some new ones.
My first contributor is Jaclyn Bree. Check out her blog Jaclyn Bree – Living the Rocky Life.
Jaclyn grew up with what she considers to be pretty basic Christmas traditions. She is from Canada; I enjoyed learning about her traditions because they are a little bit different than in the U.S. Her family would drive out to the forest a couple of days before Christmas, have a bonfire, cook some marshmallows and drink hot chocolate. They would find the deepest snow possible to lunge through to check out each and every tree. They would eventually pick out the one that they all agreed was the perfect tree for the year, cut it down, and haul it home. That sounds lovely, doesn’t it?
They would decorate on Christmas Eve Day with completely non-traditional ornaments. They would decorate sugar cookies and it was imperative that her Dad make one that looked absolutely ridiculous and they would all crack up over it. On Christmas Eve, they would open one gift, which was always pajamas. On Christmas morning, they would work together to get her Dad out of bed. While he was taking his time, they would get the gifts from their stockings. Once he was finally up, they would take turns opening presents. They topped it all off with a delicious turkey dinner. Jaclyn couldn’t imagine that the day could get any better.
I love Jaclyn’s traditions.. When she sent the message to me, I could feel the joy in her telling. They are picturesque, simple and about the enjoyment of the people, which is exactly what traditions should be about.
I asked Jaclyn if she still continues these traditions, now that she has her own family. She and her parents, along now with her sister, husband, and all of their children continue to get the tree together. They still decorate cookies, but now it is often her husband who decorates the absurd and ridiculous cookie. They continue with the traditions and the family she grew up with. But, they have started some new traditions with her new family, which includes her daughter. They have now started giving a pillow to sleep on for Christmas Eve. I think this is an original and beautiful idea! Thank you, Jaclyn for sharing your traditions, old and new.
Lucy, with Real Mum Reviews, has allowed me to mention a tradition from her blog. Here is the link to her post about her traditions: My Christmas Traditions! Lucy focuses on the new traditions with her daughter. My favorite is the Christmas Eve Box. It’s a box of fun gifts, the same gifts each year, given on Christmas Eve. For her daughter, this has included festive pajamas, a pair of slippers, a Christmas themed DVD and a treat. Her daughter wears the pajamas that night, and they watch the movie before she goes to bed. I love this sweet tradition!
Kerry, who blogs at Money Saving Journeys, was kind enough to share some of her traditions. During the season, they go to the theater; this year the show was Grease. On Christmas Eve they go looking at decorations in town. What a fun and festive way to spend the evening! They also put out a mince for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph, even though her kids are older. Hey, it’s tradition!
I have loved reading about all of these traditions, and I hope you do too. I love them because, while they are very different, they are all about spending special time together. The response for my request for traditions was so great, I had to make it a series or it would be far too long for a single post. It’s wonderful that people cherish their traditions and want to share them. Merry Christmas!