Monday, December 19, 2011

Tradition

   I LOVE holiday traditions.
I look forward to doing the things that make me happy and bring back wonderful memories.
When we lived in Chicago, we would go to my grandparents house every year on Christmas Eve and reenact the first Christmas.  Each cousin was assigned a part.  There were a lot of cousins, so we had everything covered...animals, shepherds, angels, etc.  I loved it.  The best way to learn is by doing and I felt like I learned the true meaning of Christmas when I was very young.
(My cousin Mike and I as Mary and Joseph)

Once we moved to California, we always had a formal Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas message at my Grandma's house.  On Christmas day, we would go over to my Grandpa's house because it is also his birthday.  I was a party! :)
Now that I live in Utah, away from family, I miss my traditions.  Nate didn't really have any Christmas traditions growing up, and we were too far away to participate in my Christmas traditions, so we've had to be creative and come up with some of our own.  The most important thing, is that I want my kids to know the real meaning of Christmas.  I want them to know why we celebrate.

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!”
(Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, New York: Random House, 1957.)

Every year, on Christmas Eve, I dress my kids up in their church clothes and make a fancy dinner.  After dinner we talk about the true meaning of Christmas.  We talk about baby Jesus and why his birth was so important.  I talk to them about it all month, but on Christmas Eve, we make it the our sole focus.  We always play a DVD slide show that my Dad made for me.  It is music and pictures of Jesus, starting with His birth, through His death and Resurrection, and ending with one last one of His birth.  It's beautiful.

"At this focal point of all human history, a point illuminated by a new star in the heavens revealed for just such a purpose, probably no other mortal watched—none but a poor young carpenter, a beautiful virgin mother, and silent stabled animals who had not the power to utter the sacredness they had seen.
Shepherds would soon arrive and later, wise men from the East. Later yet the memory of that night would bring Santa Claus and Frosty and Rudolph—and all would be welcome. But first and forever there was just a little family, without toys or trees or tinsel. With a baby—that’s how Christmas began."  Jeffrey R. Holland

This year, we have invited my in-laws over for Christmas Eve.  They are moving here from Nevada on the 23rd, two of my sister-in-laws will be here with their families.  I want to make sure that everyone has a good time, and that everyone learns a little bit more about the true meaning of Christmas.
Here are some ideas that I've found:
-I found a cute family activity on Family Volley about having Christ and Santa in the same holiday.
-Read The Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean.  I have been to the live presentation of The Forgotten Carols, and it is beautiful.
-I LOVE this Christmas ornament tutorial from A Lemon Squeezy Home.  I'm definitely going to make some of these.  I'll post about it when I do because I think it is such a cute idea!
-Watch the video of Luke 2. 

What are your favorite Christmas Traditions?

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