As we grow up, the greatest memories stick in our minds and most importantly, our hearts. Holiday times, Christmas in particular for me, seem to bring family together and allow for traditions to be started.
When I was young, we would always be with Grandma Cookie. Christmas Eve we would all come together...Aunts, uncles, cousins! Grandma would make her candied walnuts, and Aunt Tessie would usually bring over some of her delicious shanghai rolls. They were both so yummy. What I would give to have some right now!!! After snacking on the food, we would all spend time together until Uncle Wally came over with his guitar. Then it was my favorite time! CHRISTMAS CAROLS! He would play guitar and every once in a while grandma would play her organ. She was so proud, and we were proud of her too! We would sing and sing until we couldn't think of any Christmas songs anymore. Then we'd sing TV theme songs! Then Uncle Wally would sing a couple of his songs he had written, EVERY once in a while. It was so much fun! Finally, it would be time for us to go outside to try and find Santa and the reindeer in the sky and then say goodnight to everyone. Then, off to bed. In the morning, we opened presents, taking turns by order of age. We ate coffee cakes dipped in syrup, made by Grandma Cookie and visited with more family. All in all, it was family time and that was what was important.
Now, I am grown and have a family of my own and we have to make traditions of our own. The other night we were at the table and my son David said, "there are three things important about Christmas: 1)It's Jesus' birthday, 2) it's time for family and 3) we can give each other presents." I think he has got it down pretty well (not that the presents are that important.) Our focus needs to be on the birth of Christ and making sure that our kids remember that there is more to Christmas than the commercial side. We are lucky enough to have some family here in Washington this year with us, and we are very happy for that! We will be missing the ones we won't be with! You will be in our hearts. On Christmas Eve, we will be going to a Christmas Eve service, and then I will be reading the boys the Nativity and the Night Before Christmas. Maybe I'll get them to sing a few carols with me, who knows?!?! We will let them open one present and the rest will be left for morning. We are looking forward to having some of our military friends/family over on Christmas for a dessert potluck. Should be a lot of fun!
What were/are your traditions? Any that you kept from when you were a kid? I'd love to hear about them.