As you'll notice quickly, I am doing a tandem post today. I call it multi-tasking.
For I cannot post anything about my Christmas traditions without thanking God for those very traditions that make me even more grateful for this time of year.
Here are a few of the traditions that carry us through each bless-ed Christmas season:
- I got a new Christmas ornament from my family each year that I took from home when I left college. Most of those are long gone now from age and fragility. Yet, I decided when Libbyline was born to start the same sort of tradition with my children. Libbyline adds a new Boyd's bear angel each year to her collection. Sweetcheeks gets a new snowman for hers, and JD Green gets an ornament with some form of transportation represented (which is so perfect as he is ALWAYS on the go). They love discovering these as we decorate our tree each year and will easily identify whose is whose when the time comes to leave home and start out on their own.
- We love baking around our house, and there are a few treats I usually only make at Christmas time: including chocolate covered pretzels, peanut butter fudge, and molasses crinkles(known as ginger cookies to my kids). I love the smell that wafts through the air as our goodies begin to bake. We also made press cookies and several other varieties last year for the first time, but it certainly won't be the last time these yummy items make an appearance. We usually take a plate or tin full of cookies to neighbors and share them with friends and family throughout the season.
- Our children each get to open one present Christmas Eve. I have done everything from getting matching pajamas made by my mother with coordinating bags to choosing sets in each child's favorite color. They now all know what will be inside the package each year, but it is still fun to take a group shot under the tree to commemorate going to bed in their new, cozy jammies. The excitement now lies more in the creative wrapping than in the contents. It is fun to see how imaginative the mama can get . . .
- We do not open presents first here. We read the Christmas story in Luke 2, then we read a chapter from Max Lucado's God Came Near, called The Arrival. Adding Mary's perspective, even fictionally, helps us to focus on all that went on that first Christmas when Jesus arrived as Immanuel.
- The other tradition actually arose out of a year ridden by illness with young children. We found ourselves unable to join any organized Christmas Eve service, so our three created a play of the Nativity story, using robes and towels to costume, stuffed animals for the stable residents, and the treasured baby doll for baby Jesus. Libbyline is our narrator and the other two act out all the other parts of the story. It is a precious time each year as they now thrill to put on their own interpretation of how Jesus came to us.
Have a thanks-filled day and don't forget to let me know if you've posted your own list of thanks. I will come visit when I get the chance!