I remember when I was a little girl (maybe around 10-12 range) reading in a magazine somewhere that Christmas traditions were what your kids remember about Christmas and are important. And then the magazine went on to suggest some traditions to start with your family. So, I thought to myself when I have my own family I will have LOTS of Christmas traditions. Well, we don't have LOTS of traditions, but we do have a few very important and heartfelt ones that I LOVE!
1) Christmas shirt - When I was 5 years old my Grandma Lola gave me a Christmas shirt that says "Dear Santa, I want it all!". She gave one to all of her grandchildren that Christmas. She gave them all to us in the same size: a man's extra large! A little big on a 5 year old :) But I thought it was so funny and proudly told Grandma I would wear it EVERY Christmas. And by golly, I have! It's 22 years old now and still in good shape and actually fits me instead of being like a tent on me. I only wear it Christmas eve night to bed and while we're opening presents. Then I wash it and put it away till next year. I don't want it to get to worn out. But it's so special to me because it's been with me through EVERY Christmas for 22 years. And even though my Grandma Lola can't be with us in person, I feel like I have a part of her with me every Christmas morning, and that is more special then I could ever put into words!
2) Chinese food - About 4 years ago it was just me and my parents for Christmas. My brothers were married and with their wife's family. I met Ben a month later, so I was still single at the time. So, mom didn't see much point in making some big Christmas dinner. Well, after our Christmas eve service at church we were STARVING and the only place we could find open was Chinese food. Which we all love anyways and we were right tired of turkey, ham, mac and cheese etc so we said what the heck, let's do it! So, we ate Chinese food that night and loved it. And we promised to make it a yearly tradition to eat Chinese food on Christmas eve. And that's what we do! It was so much fun this year to have Legree with us and for him to be old enough to enjoy the food too!
3) Christmas service - Every Christmas eve we, of course, go to our church service. It is always a candel lit service and we sings LOTS of Christmas hymns and have several sermonettes on the birth of our Savior. This is such a special service. This year as really hit home to me about what a sacrifice God made in sending us his only Son, for our sins. He sent us the perfect for the imperfect. The best gift of all!
4) Parents over for breakfast - Every Christmas morning we have Ben's parents and my parents over for breakfast. We eat, catch up and then they watch Legree open up his Santa presents. And then we play with him and all his toys together. It's so much fun and means so much to Legree, Ben and I to have them all here with us. As soon as they all got into the house today Legree was just squeeling, giggling and dancing with delight that all his grandparents are together. He has such a close relationship with all of them, it's so wonderful!
Some "new" Christmas traditions that we are starting as of next year....
3 presents... I've been thinking a lot about how to "explain" Santa to Legree and what's going on with Christmas. I mean it's kind of a lot to take in and next year he'll be able to understand presents etc more. So, Ben and I decided we are going to tell Legree from now on that Christmas is Jesus Birthday and that's why everyone celebrates it so much. And that Jesus loves us so much that he not only died on the cross for all of our sins, but he also sends us His Birthday presents at Christmas! He sends Santa to deliver them on Christmas eve night. And from now on, Legree will only get three presents Christmas morning. Because Jesus got three presents from the wisemen, and it doesn't make much since for Legree to get more presents on Jesus' birthday then Jesus did. We hope and pray to keep the focus on this being Jesus birthday and let Santa just be a courior for the presents. And to let Legree know he should be thanking Jesus for His birthday gifts and for the greatest gift of all, Jesus coming as man to save us from our sins.
Another tradition that I started two years ago and never really noticed till this year... Christmas ornaments that aren't really ornaments. UGH? Yeah sounds weird... but I wrote about in a previous post but for the past two years I've collected a tree topper and an "ornament" that weren't meant to be ornaments, but I put them on our tree like they are. So, I'm going to find something significant from that year and turn it into an ornament. I'm sure I'll find some interesting things to hang every year!! And in the future our child(ren) can help me find a "nonornament" and turn it into an ornament! This year I made Legree a pair of Christmas Jons jons. I just started sewing and really love it! So, since they are green and red he can't really wear them past today so I'm going to take the buttons off of them, put it on a pretty ribbon and that will be our "nonornament" for this year!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!! See ya next year Christmas traditions!!