Holiday Traditions: The Way We Celebrate


About a week ago, a couple of my friends probed me about my family's Christmas traditions.  I really hadn't given much thought to traditions.  In my way of thinking, I considered traditions as getting into a habit, a rote behavior.  I, personally, did not want to begin doing things just out of habit. Another thing that kept me from really getting into starting family traditions is the fact that I did not grow up with such traditions.  I was pretty much always in transit. A lack of stability makes it difficult to look forward to anything.

Vic and I didn't have an in depth discussion about the way we would celebrate before children. We knew that we were not going the commercialized route. We knew that Christ would be the focus, and that big gifts were for their own birthdays or bought just because. Our first Christmas together was simple.  We ate a nice dinner and spent time together. 

Now that our family has grown by two additional people, I've found myself wondering more about traditions.  Can they be more than rote? Can they be pleasant memories to look back to for comfort or a smile?

As Christmas gets closer and closer, our daughters have brought to my attention that we actually do have a few traditions.

Each year for the past four years, we have delivered meals on Christmas morning through a local mission. Giving is very important to us, and it is something that we want our girls to have instilled in them.   Since we moved this year, we now serve nearly every Saturday.  We are still looking for opportunities to serve on the holidays in our new town.

Packaging food at the local food bank.
We bake a cake or some sort of dessert in honor of our Savior.  The girls look forward to baking each year.

In 2014, we made our cards.  We sent out more this year than ever before.
Gifts are not a huge part of our celebrating, but we do put together a box for the girls.  The box usually has simple things that will be appreciated by our daughters.  It was recently brought to my attention that they look forward to the Bubble Tape Gum that is usually in their box.  I, now, see the pink roll of gum as our part of the gift tradition.

I keep decorating simple. Simply because I don't want to have a lot of stuff to put away, but we do put up an artificial tree {2014 was our last year} and stockings {2015 we sewed our own}.  Although we are no longer putting up a tree, I continue to like ornaments. I thought I would have Hallmark ornament tradition, but I didn't fully get going. We have Hallmark ornaments for our first Christmas and the girls' first Christmases.  At first I didn't realize it, but I have noticed that I go out and purchase a new ornament each year.  So maybe we do have an ornament tradition after all.

I painted this ornament in 2012 at a local pottery place.
Let's not forget about the food. The only rule is not eating Thanksgiving dinner on Christmas.  Most years I cook lasagna.

Those are the traditions we have grown to love over the past 4-5 years.  We mix up each year with other activities such as our church's Christmas program, viewing light decorations, checking out a family flick at the theater, and getting out in our community and serving.  We do not always prepare with Advent, but I'd like to think we are preparing our hearts each day throughout the year.  There are few days that go by when I am not in remembrance.

What are your family traditions? Have you written a post about them? Share your link and I'll come by and read them.


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