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CHRISTmas Traditions
by petersmommy (petersmommy)
at November 27th, 2004 (01:22 pm)

Hello everyone!

Since Christmas is around the corner. I thought maybe we could share some family traditions with each other. It'll be fun!

It's our family's second Christmas. The first one we went to Nebraska to visit Matthew's parents and other relatives. I don't think I want to do that again because it makes it almost impossible to develop traditions.

I can share some traditions we had when I was growing up. 1. Christmas tree of course. 2. 24th of Dec. dinner table had one extra plate, seat, and silverware for Jesus. It was at the head of the table, and we believed that if some guest comes uninvited, Jesus has sent him/her and we sat this person at that extra seat. 3. The breaking of bread. There was a loaf of special bread and one would break a piece off and would wish another family member something good and gave that piece to him/her. 4. Inviting someone from church who was lonely or poor to share a Christmas meal with us. 5. Bible reading and then a fun quiz about what we've read with lots of little gifts. 6. Singing carols, of course ;0) 7. We had some hay on the table to symbolize Jesus' birth 8. Lots of games 9. Christmas church service 10. Last year we also packed a Christmas shoe box for some little boy in Africa (I'm not sure if it counts as a tradition. We want to do it this year too, though)

I would be delighted to hear about your Christmas family traditions and suggestions as to what can make Christmas more special and meaningful to a child.

X-posted to my journal and trainupachild

Comments

Posted by: Melissa (lil_irish_lass)
Posted at: November 28th, 2004 06:51 am (UTC)

Last year was our first Christmas as a whole family, and my first Christmas apart from my mom and such as I was living with them while going to school and raising Arianna. Some of these things I started with Arianna, some we started last year.

1. I love to craft and sew, and every year I make presents. The first year I had Arianna, she was five months old her first Christmas. I bought the biggest tree I could buy for five dollars, and my mother bought me a tree stand and a string of lights. The tree stood about three feet high, and was rather scraggly. But I was so pleased with my first tree! I didn't have any ornaments of my own, and certainly none the family were willing to part with. So, I got some felt and made some snowmen and gingerbread men. I bought some sparkly pipe cleaners (chenille sticks) and fashioned them into balls and diamonds. I made a few others as well, so that our little tree would have things to hang on it. Fast forward to last Christmas. It was my third Christmas making ornaments, and I got to do it with my husband and child. We made mini stockings out of felt and I forget what else! LOL! So making an ornament or two to grace the tree is our family tradition :) This year I've got styrofoam balls, and we'll cover them with fabric and ribbons. 2. As it was a tradition for us growing up, we each get a satsuma in our stockings. 3. On our honeymoon last year, we thought it would be brilliant to buy a few ornaments commemorating the occaision and our trip. So I bought some, and wrote in small permanent ink the trip and where we got it. We continued the tradition this year, buying some ornaments that reflected where we stayed for our first anniversary, and I will mark them as well (first anniversary, victoria bc). 4. We come from a pentecostal/non-denominational background (and he from an unsaved one) and thus traditions like advent were foreign to us. But last year I was looking for ways to keep us grounded in the meaning of the season--Jesus! So we celebrate a modified version of advent now :) Modified because I'm sure it's not exactly right, but that doesn't matter. It's the spirit that's behind it, not the letter. 5. We try to celebrate our heritage, both American and original, in a way that also glorifies Jesus. So far that's translated to a modified version of Sankt Nikolaus Tag, and we're still looking for more ways to do so. 6. We try to make sure that people without family and such to celebrate feel welcome and loved in this season, so I do baking and crafting for them and include them in it and our celebrations such as advent. 7. Growing up, it was a tradition to 'give something back'. I hope to continue this tradition this year. Last year we were unable to do much, but this year I hope to do more! 8. Going for a walk after our advent activities (which we do after dinner on Sundays) and looking at Christmas lights. 9. Christmas music, and caroling!! :) 10. In everything, we try to point it back to Christ, even if it really isn't used that way. We don't encourage santa claus per se, we teach about the real st. nick. We have 'Santa' at the Christmas Eve party, but he's not the focal point. For us, it's Christ, and family, and giving. We get gifts because people are showing the love and generosity of the Father; we don't deserve them and are grateful for them. We give gifts because Christ gave us Himself, and we want to share His love. 11. Christmas Eve party at my parent's house.

Well, that's all I can think of :)

Posted by: petersmommy (petersmommy)
Posted at: November 28th, 2004 07:16 am (UTC)

Wow! I love the details. I learned so much from your post that I want my family to adopt as well :0) E.g. Focusing on Christ and not Santa Claus, teaching about Saint Nicholas, why you give gifts, making ornaments -- these are my favorites. Thank you so much for taking your time and sharing these with us!

Posted by: Melissa (lil_irish_lass)
Posted at: November 28th, 2004 08:01 am (UTC)

You're welcome! I really was inspired by your post(s) about your traditions too, they are neat. So I was inspired to share mine as well. I really, really like the tradition of setting that extra seat for Jesus. We may have to adopt that one!! The hay on the table is also a neat tradition, one I'd never thought of. Thank YOU for sharing, and getting us started on this thread! I can't wait to read everyone else's.

Posted by: petersmommy (petersmommy)
Posted at: November 28th, 2004 09:18 am (UTC)

I'm so happy that you found my post interesting and useful :0)

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