|When I was growing up, my family wasn’t much on tradition. We had a Christmas tree because I initiated the purchase and decorated it. There were presents and a family meal, of course, but that was it. I always felt letdown after it was over —–wondering to myself, “Is this all there is to Christmas? Isn’t there something more?”
Now, my hope is to create traditions with my children that are meaningful and that they will look back on fondly. I probably won’t know the extent of my success until my own children are grown and creating traditions with their own families. It will be a true test of my character if I don’t drown my sorrows in mounds of chocolate if my adult children don’t choose to continue some of our traditions.
We read Jotham’s Journey each night of Advent this year again. We all enjoyed this story. It is particularly exciting for young adventurous boys, and there is some meat to chew there as well. Of course, we did our usual stocking routine. This is where we read The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve and send the children to bed. Then, starting with the youngest child, we get them up one at a time. That child gets to put on the Santa hat, gobble a few cookies and milk, and help fill the family’s stockings with candy and trinkets. The children are thrilled to have this alone time with Mama and Daddy and love to play a part in filling the stockings.
We did something new this Christmas that I hope we can continue for many Chrismases to come. We packed up Sid’s guitar, pumpkin bread and ginger cookies and went carolling. We visited Grandma Sandy and Grandpa Louis and Grandma Louise first. After we finished singing to them and giving out pumpkin bread, Grandma Sandy grabbed her coat and joined us on our adventure. We then visited our neighbors, the Coxes, our friend and helper, Jeff, Jeff’s neighbor (whom we didn’t know), the Foertchs and then my Mom.
Sid loved going carolling and it was probably my favorite Christmas activity this year too. We so love the idea of spreading love and cheer with our family. That is our hope anyway. It is possible that some of the poor folks we carolled were just suffering through our singing while making us feel loved and cheered.