Friday, December 11, 2009

Family Friday: Holiday Traditions

Traditions are those things that we do purposely at regular intervals and create positive feelings. They help us connect with those who participate in them with us and, in the case of handed-down traditions, help us to connect with previous generations. Traditions can be started at any time and ended at any time and they can be altered to meet your needs. Growing up, we always went to choose our Christmas tree as a family, including my grandparents. The time came that my grandparents stopped coming with us and we stopped going to the local tree seller and started going to farms to cut our own, but we still made a day of it as a family. Two years ago, my husband got a great deal on an artificial tree, and while I am not thrilled with it for many reasons, it is silly to go buy a real tree now. We have now set that tradition aside and will replace it with a new one. Today, I wanted to share some of our other holiday traditions and learn about your holiday traditions.

Last year, I shared about our traditional "wrapping party", aside from that, here are some of our other holiday traditions:

- Every year on Christmas Eve, we drive through a certain neighborhood that goes all out with holiday lights. The kids love it and it is such fun to see what changes each year. There is also some of the neighborhood kids that set up a stand and sell hot chocolate and popcorn, so we buy some of that too. Last year, we had some live deer cross right in front of our van and the kids got all excited and thought they must have been Santa's.

- When we decorate the tree, we play Christmas music and drink hot chocolate.

- Baking Christmas cookies is an all day activity with me and the kids. They love helping in the kitchen and it helps ease the load.

- We read the Christmas story from the scriptures before opening gifts on Christmas morning.

- We attend a living Nativity every year at a local church and discuss what Christmas is really about.

Another tradition, I heard that someone does is to choose a special gift for Santa each year, such as a warm hat or nice boots. They leave the gift for Santa which is then rumored to be donated to a local shelter. I think this is a wonderful way to help others and truly honor the spirit of Santa Claus. I know others who throw a birthday party, complete with cake, for Jesus. What are some of the traditions you grew up with and follow today or what are some of the traditions you have started with your family? If you are interested in starting new, meaningful traditions, there is a great article here.

1 comment:

  1. Let's see.....We have an annual Wrap-A-Thon with my mom, sisters & a couple of close family friends, where e bring some snacks/food to munch on while wrapping our Christmas gifts. We share paper, tape, gifts tags, etc and help each other so that it's less of a burden on Christmas Eve.

    We also have a fake tree (husband's choice, not mine) that when we put it up we have Christmas music playing in the background. Lights are put on that same night as well as the angel topper. Within a few nights, we go back to the tree, play Christmas music & I give each family member a new ornament. Those are the 1st to go on the tree, before we finish going through & putting the rest of the ornaments up.

    A couple of days before Christmas, the kids and I bake up all/most of the Christmas cookies. The kids love to help!! We also go to the mall to see Santa and drive through said neighborhood to see the over abundance of Christmas lights, although it is a newer tradition for us, since we only recently moved back to this area. Had to go back to an old childhood tradition with my children, as it was always oneof my favorites.

    I invite my entire family (parents, siblings, nieces & nephews) over to my house every Christmas Eve for a traditional Christmas feast (ie. turkey & all the fixings) & gift exchange.

    Christmas morning, we gather by the fireplace to see what's in our stockings, then we drink egg nog while opening our gifts. About midday, we all head to my in-law's for the day for a traditional Christmas ham feast and gift exchange.