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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Traditions

In my elementary-school years, I could set a clock by our Christmas traditions. (Go back to a favorite memory of delivering presents with my Dad here.) On Christmas Eve, we spent the afternoon at Grandma and Grandpa's (where the tree had large, multi-colored lights), then off to 5:00 children's Mass at St. James.  Then we'd spend the rest of the evening just across the street at my mom's parents' (where the tree always had silver icicles!) I'll always remember the peppermint sugar sticks Mom Elmore put in a fresh orange as a treat.  Then the next morning, we'd find that Santa had come and we'd have to open up quick and then clean up quick before both sides of the family came to have a country ham breakfast and spend the day at our home. 

Now that I have my own children and we don't live so close to the grandparents, we've come up with our own traditions. (Mostly stolen ideas from friends!)  For one thing, Santa brings the kids a box of super-sweet, sugary cereal each year -- one of their favorites! Another is that we let the kids sleep in our room on Christmas Eve. They think it's really fun, but we really do it to keep them all in one spot so we can go in for surprises together. I don't want to miss ONE look of joy! I remember sitting on the steps when we were young waiting for Mom and Daddy to get their coffee before we were allowed to go in the living room. I've kept this part of Christmas intact!

We have other traditions, but I recently stumbled upon a writing assignment of Sammie's on this very topic.  I'm so happy that these have found meaning to her already. Enjoy a couple of other traditions in her own words. I know I did!

Holiday Traditions

Every Christmas, we have our own special traditions. the first tradition is every Christmas Eve, we always have yummy Chinese food. We get sweet and sour chicken, steamed dumplings and kung pao chicken. It's a fun tradition because it's delicious.

Another fun tradition is we hide the pickle. We hide a lime-colored glass pickle ornament in the tree and whoever finds it first gets to open the first present. Families around the world have made this tradition for many years. A couple of my friends said they do this every year too. It's very interesting and fun to see who finds it.

The last tradition is we put baby Jesus in the manger. In our large nativity set, there's a dirty manger for baby Jesus. Before the Christmas holiday, we wrap Jesus up and put him under the tree. On Christmas morning, the youngest in the family gets to place him in the manger. This is a valuable and precious tradition because it represents our families Christian religion.

As pleased as I am that she loves these things. I hope that being with family is the most important and meaningful tradition of all.

Merry Christmas, everyone!


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