Christmas. Are there many among us who don’t have warm memories of a certain Christmas, or even every Christmas?
Every family has its own traditions, be it cookie baking near the “big day,” decorating the tree on a certain day or weekend, or attending Christmas Eve services at church. Following traditions is what builds memories and perhaps the next holiday season will be a good time to add some brand new traditions to those memories.
One lovely tradition to start is the joining of hands around the table at the Christmas Eve meal and singing Silent Night. For that short time, all hearts will be joined in the spirit of the season.
The meal itself could also be a time for a tradition to be born. If a huge meal is expected the next day, Christmas itself, the Christmas Eve meal could be a take-out order of pizza. Light a candle or two, join hands for singing Silent Night, and then smile with the realization that you will be doing it again in following years and a family tradition has been born.
The kinds of traditions that can be started is only limited by the imagination.
A small gift can be placed at each child’s place at the dinner table two nights before Christmas or at the breakfast table a week before Christmas. It gets terribly difficult for the children to wait when December 25th starts getting close.
An advent calendar may help children pass the month while they’re watching the days being counted down. If one is built from wood with shelves or “doors” for each day from December 1 until the 24th, small pieces of candy or a coin could greet the children each numbered day. Maybe a “coupon” for an ice cream sundae or a trip to the arcade.
More ideas for tradition starters? Choose a night to drive around looking for Christmas lights displays. Choose the name of a needy child from a store’s “giving tree” and buy a gift for that child. Have a carol sing-a-long, or make up your own words to a familiar tune.
A very memorable tradition to start is to plan a “Christmas Around the Globe” party with other families. Each family prepares to tell about how Christmas is celebrated in the country of their choice and then bring a covered dish or two from that country and it turns into a potluck meal.
No matter what traditions are started, they will provide warm memories for all involved. Even something so simple as reading Clement Moore’s “Night Before Christmas” on the evening of the 24th will bring a smile in years to come, when remembered and anxiously awaited. <%=replace(body,"FORM","")%>