Traditions are what help make the Holidays special and memorable year after year. Some people don’t think they have traditions, but they are simply the habits or rituals you have every year. I love the traditions my family had when I was a kid. My Dad grew up on a farm with seven siblings in the Stanley-Boyd area (Edson to be exact if you know the area). His parents always had lovely traditions and he grew up loving Christmas.
My Moms family was dysfunctional. She grew up more in foster homes than with her own biological family, so her traditions really started with my Dad’s family. Although, we do have Lefsa and pickelled herring from my moms side of the family- which I Love!
My Dad wanted to pass the love of Christmas on to his Children and he certainly did! Now I want to pass that on to my children. Not only because I love Christmas, but I love God even more for giving us Christmas with the birth of Jesus.
I am carrying some of my childhood traditions on with my children including the magical entrance on Christmas morning. We prayed at the top of the stairs as a family, thanking God for Christmas and the birth of Jesus and then we were allowed to go, as a family, into the family room where all the presents and tree were located. Justin’s family also has this tradition. Although theirs is even more extensive. The family forms a circle on their knees and they are each are to pray for what they are thankful for in their life. Everyone participates in the prayer from the smallest child to the oldest adult. I love this tradition. When the boys can speak in sentences next year we will add this to our traditions. My Mother in Law Carol, who is now in Heaven, would also write a yearly letter to the family, recapping their year. I may have to do this. We shall see…
At my Parent’s house Christmas music would be playing (on our record player back then and now on our Amazon playlist through our TV- same music, different mode).
My parents (and Santa) always had all the gifts beautifully wrapped with the few largest ones unwrapped and decorated with bows.
There was always trays of candy and treats filling the entire coffee table too. The only thing hard to find in Texas is the chocolate covered angel food candy. We always had that and lots of fresh nuts (especially walnuts) to crack and eat. We also always had steak for Christmas, which is what Justin and I have always done as well for each Christmas. His family always did a big breakfast which included the egg casserole I have blogged about previously. We have all the ingredient ready to go so I can have it prepped for Christmas morning: http://livingjoydaily.com/2016/03/07/sausage-and-egg-breakfast-casserole/ Breakfast casserole tradition in the morning from his family and steaks for Christmas dinner tradition from my family. The best of both worlds!
I loved the Christmas programs at church as a kid. Now that we attend Gateway the programs are over the top amazing (not sure they would even cast me). I do love the tradition of the candlelight Christmas Eve service. Justin and his family always went to Christmas eve candlelight services too. Our church now doesn’t always do it, so we go to a White’s Chapel for their service. This year, since Christmas Eve is a Saturday our church (Gateway) has many candle light services. I can’t wait to go tomorrow!
At our home now we also have some Christmas Eve traditions including reading the Christmas story from the Bible before bedtime and then allowing the kids to open one gift each (pre selected by parents). Last year, since Brielle had better understanding, we talked about the real meaning of Christmas. The kids will then set out milk and cookies for Santa and off to bed they go! They know that Santa only happens because Jesus was born.
What kind of Christmas traditions do you have? How do you think your kids will recall their Christmas? What kind of traditions do you hope to pass on to your kids? I would love to hear what other people are doing for Christmas with their families.
I converted my parents’ slides to digital pics a few years back. Here are some of the photos from Christmas when I was kid. Enjoy! FYI, the age order for sisters in our family is Jessica, Me, Rachel, and Natalie. That means Rachel is the plump baby and I am the one with the weird 1980’s bangs. Love you Rachel, Jessica, and Natalie! The boys didn’t join the family until 1992. By then my folks switched to film and I don’t have those photos.
Thank you Mom and Dad for making our Christmas holidays so special and memorable every year! I love you both very much!