Hello Friends. Hope you all are having a good week and enjoying this holiday season.
I know for me, this week is my most busy week of the season.
Monday night- SS Christmas Party
Tuesday night- Ornament Swap- (Hope to see you tonight!)
Wednesday- Christmas pics, ballet party, Awana, Choir Rehersal
Thursday- Childrens Theater, Art Class, Logan-Window Washing Job
Friday- The Rockettes!
Saturday- Morning Choir Rehersal, Evening Kids Church Christmas Party
Sunday Night- Choir Performance
OK, see really that was for my benefit. The more I see it written down, the more it gets ingrained in my brain what I need to do.
And such it is with Tradition...nice segway right ?!
Yes folks, this weeks installment of Tinsel Tuesday is Tradition.
Websters dictionary describes Tradition as:
1 : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)
2: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction.
The Traditions of Christmas are all around us. The mere act in and of itself is a Tradition.
I am admittedly a Traditionalist, ecspecially around this time of year. I have many customary patterns of thought, action, or behaviour that define me this time of year.
I have been handed down information, beliefs and customs, by word of mouth and by example from another generation. I am now endevoring to do the same with my own small brood.
So this week for TT, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Traditions, both old and new. And I would also like to hear from you...what is one of your favorite Traditions.
Old Traditions that where passed down to me:
I come from a Southern Grandmother and a Northern Nana, so my recipe list is quite comprehensive. I appreciate that my Mom has kept all the recipes organized so that all I've had to do is print them off. I really do enjoy the baking and cooking involved during this time of year. Growing up we followed my Mom's list to a "T" ("T" for Tradition, I'm sure!)
We made everything on the list, and lots of it. I always enjoyed spending the time with my Mom and Sister, and sometimes even friends that we would have over, baking all day long.
2. Christmas Movies-
There are certain Christmas movies that where essential in my upbringing, that I am sure I could quote every line, and yet I never ever tire of them.
White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, and Christmas Carol- the George C Scott version, are the 3 that are forever ingrained in my memory from childhood.
3. Our Christmas drink-
I'm not sure when my Mom started this, but we have an orange/coconut drink that we drink on Christmas morning that is indeed a family favorite. We raise our glasses in a toast, and everybody taps glasses before we drink.
4. Christmas Morning torture-
As kids we where not allowed to come downstairs or out into the living room until Mom and Dad had everything just so. In other words, no running out and ripping away. Mom would get the Chrismtas lights and music going, while Dad gets the coffee going...then the camera is poised, and then we are allowed in.
5. Sibling Traditions-
My siblings and I always exchanged gifts with each other on Christmas Eve. This was always fun and gave us time to appreciate what we had picked out for each other.
My siblings and I also all had a "side" of the tree. There where 3 of us, and my side was the left, Lauras' was the right, and then when Adam came along he got the middle.
We 3 also had to take turns placing the tree topper on the tree. Obviously for the first 2 years it was only me...then Laura came along and for 7 years we swapped back and forth every other year, and then Adam entered the picture and we went to an every 3 year system. It was always an honor to be the one to place the Angel, or star on top of the tree.
6. The Christmas Story-
I mean this is kind of a given, but I always remember us lighting candles, singing Christmas carols, and my Dad reading Luke 2 to us. I always remember loving to hear him reading out loud to us. I still like to hear him read it now, even as an adult.
There are others from my childhood, but you get the picture.
All of these I am passing down to my kids too, and so far they love all of them!
New Traditions for my family-
1. Pine Hill Farms
Stacy came home from work one day in the December of 2000 and told me about a place called Pine Hill Farms. So from the time Logan was 6 months old and had his first Christmas, we have been going out to Pine Hill Farms. It is one of these cut your own Christmas Tree places. Several times we have cut our own tree, but the reason we go is for the sleigh!
They have a Santa Sleigh in front of a huge Christmas Tree. Every year we have taken the kids and taken their pictures in that sleigh. It's been fun to look back over the past 8 years and see how much my kids have grown. I mean obviously you know that from year to year, but there is something about seeing them in that same spot that really puts it into perspective.
We also take bananas and feed the real live Reindeer that they have. It's a fun family day that we look forward to every year. We'll be going tomorrow! Yeah!
Every year, I take said pictures and I put them in a cutesy new Christmas Frame.
Acutally I do not have a frame from Logans first 2 Christmas's, but I have those in ornmanet Frames.
But every year since Lana came into the picture. I currently have 6 frames, plus I have one of all the grandkids a few years ago. It's a lot of fun to pull those out each year, and I think it will be fun to have around once my kids are grown.
3. Wrapping Paper-
Wierd huh? Actually I guess this should have fallen under Childhood Traditions, but oh well.
Every year I take the kids to the store and they pick out "their" wrapping paper for Christmas.
Then all of their gifts are wrapped in that paper. It's neat to see what they choose from year to year based on their taste. One year we had princess and spiderman...another year was stars for one, and stripes for the other...This year they both picked pretty silver and blues to match the downstairs decor. I thought that was very sweet!
4- Sunday Gifts-
I started this one a few years ago. There are usually 3 Sunday leading up to Christmas. So every Sunday evening I give my kids a gift. It's always predictable too...although I don't think they've caught on to that yet. A movie, A game, and Pj's.
It's fun to watch the movie or play the game all together on that evening. And the PJs are always soft and snuggly! Logan is still not too old for footie pajamas!
5- Baking and Gingerbead house-
I do have my Moms list of all the goodies that we made from year to year, and there are several on there that I HAVE to make every year with the kids. But I also like to change things up and try new things too. The older the kids are getting, the easier it is to do this with them, and they both love to bake.
Lana and I have been decorating a Gingerbread house together for the past several years too, and I will for sure make sure that is a Tradition we keep.
This is something someone gave me years ago. It is 12 ornaments that open up and it comes with a book. It is 12 names of Christ. "I am the door", "The Good Shepherd", etc...
I love starting this 12 days before Christmas. The kids get to take turns hanging the ornament on a small tree that I have designated just for this. It is something that is different from advent, and reminds all of us of the many things that Jesus is to us.
So those are just a few of my favorites from Christmas past and present, and hopefully will be carried into the future.
Last year I started a Christmas book that I would like to add to and hand down to Lana someday. It's just a binder with all the family recipes, new recipes, craft and project ideas, etc.
Although the defintion of Tradition is information passed down without written instruction, I know she will appreciate having it down the road to keep Tradition alive in her own home.
One thing I would like to point out about Tradition is that if you want to keep it, you need to love it! Traditions can be burdensome and annoying. Seriously, who wants to make a fruit cake every year? Traditions should mean something to you and should show others something about you and your family, about who you are, and who is the center of your holiday season.
If you don't have any Traditions, or if you haven't been keeping up with them because it just gets to be too much, I encourage you to pick one or two that are easy and that you will love and then just do them!
I know it meant a lot to me that my Mom kept up with Traditions, and I can see that it means alot to my family now that I am doing the same.
I do not want to trivialize what the meaning of Christmas is all about. My actions 24-7-365 should be displaying Christ love and sacrifice on my behalf.
If I am not living that out during every month, then really, what good does it do to try to cram it all into December. Tradition means nothing if it is forced and is from a spirit that is trying to live out Christs love because it is the Christmas season. If that is what I am doing, then what happens Jan.1st?
So let me hear from you...what are some of your favorite Christmas Traditions?
Stay tuned for next week's TT. Any suggestions?