Family Traditions  

Posted by Benjie

Every holiday is filled with family traditions—those things that you do because your family has always done them. Christmas is one of the biggest traditional holidays. It is chock full of traditions that make the holiday become Christmas for people. For some the traditions center on the tree—what kind, how and when gifts are exchanged and opened. Others focus their Christmas traditions on the meal—do we eat turkey (again), or ham, or even goose? Will there be stuffing or dressing and cranberry sauce? There may even be some special dish or desert that makes Christmas happen. Still others base their Christmas traditions on the story—decorations are studded with “Jesus is the reason for the season” and “Don’t take Christ out of Christmas”.

Some people have added a new crèche to their holiday supply, one which has Santa Claus (in all his red glory and fur) bowing in prayer to the Babe in a manger. Others have even included a birthday cake in their celebrations, singing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and allowing the smallest children to extinguish the candles. What makes Christmas for you and your family?

I recall making the best gifts—and receiving the best gifts (which were handmade). I recall our tradition of asking for only one “big” present each year. I remember when we were introduced to ‘White Christmas Salad’ and ‘Pretzel Salad’ as staples in our holiday feast.

As I became an adult, I remember starting my own heirloom nativity to which I still try to add a new figure to each year. One tradition I cannot seem to kick is Christmas movies—I love movies based in and around Christmas, whether comedy, heartwarming romance, or stories based on the Story of Christmas, I just love them. I try to see new Christmas movies as often as I can, buying at least the better ones when they arrive on DVD or VHS. I love the music of Christmas, I love the books that come out at Christmastime.

One tradition we have added to our family is the homemade cranberry sauce which my wife tried out on me during our second or third holiday season—Christmas ain’t Christmas without it. I also love the Christmas Eve candlelight service at the church.

So what makes Christmas feel like Christmas for you? How do you stand on the issue of Santa Claus? What about trees and decorations? Do you have one special tradition that you wouldn’t be able to enter the new year if it disappeared from your home during the Christmas season? Respond—tell me about it. I’m always up for new traditions.

This entry was posted on 27 November 2006 at 1:17 PM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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