Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas ......

Christmas traditions are a huge deal. From where you get your Christmas tree, to what Christmas music you listen to, what ornaments you buy and put on, who puts the lights and tree topper on the tree, what goes on the outside of the house.

My parents always made this part of Christmas special. We would go and pick out the tree from the lot. Mom and us girls would pull down the super huge box, while Dad was at work to get ready. I am not sure why we always used this huge box, the bottom of it was flimsy and always tried to fall out and the sides weren't much better, all of us complained about it, but there you are...Tradition. The Christmas music would be turned on. Dad would untangle the lights, which of course were a mess, while Mom made "eggnog" (you know the fake kind with no alcohol) and cut up Grandmas fruitcake that we were sent every year. Tracy and i would dig out the nativity scene, snow globes, stockings.

No matter what house we lived in these all would go into the same general place. Our stockings were red and white with our names spelled out in red and green glitter. The lights would still be a mess, so we being kids would "try" to help, but were sent off to "organize" the ornaments. Mom and Dad would put the lights and the garland on the tree. Then Dad would sit down to watch us all putting the decorations on the tree. We all had special ones that we liked to put on the tree. Then the most beautiful angel would come out of her box. I loved this angel. We would put her up on top of the tree and plug it in. WOW! What beauty. We would eat the yummy snack that had been prepared. Sing some carols while Mom played the piano. We would say a prayer. Mom would have us get ready for bed. Then as my sister and i lay there we would sometimes listen to Mom and Dad sing songs together. It was a nice way to fall asleep. Then on Christmas Eve we would go to the store and each of us would go and pick out an ornament. This is how we built up our collection. This was a tradition until I was about 11, because we had so many by then. My first one that I remember picking out, when I was 5 years old, was this toy soldier. He was amazing to me and still is. He was the first ornament to be placed on the tree by me and he still is. My parents gave me the angel when I got married, she later got ruined and my husband got me an almost identical replacement.

When my husband and I got married we brought our families traditions to the marriage just like everything else. Slowly over the 11 1/2 years and as our children have grown, the traditions of our families have melded and some of our own have taken there place. Jason goes to the mountains to pick out our tree. There is still the Christmas music. My Grandmother has stopped making the fruitcake and I am unable to have eggs. I put the lights and garland on. The boys help me put on the ornaments, I still put my toy solder on the tree. My angel goes on the top of the tree. Instead of us all getting an ornament, the boys are given one on Christmas day. We do have our stockings, Eric's was Jason's childhood one. On Christmas Eve the boys open PJ's so that they have new ones to sit and open gifts in.

The main tradition that stayed with me and I will never let go of is the story of our Lord and the reason we have this day set aside. On Christmas Eve the Mom gets to read the Night before Christmas. Then Grandma reads the Bible story. We pray. Grandma would make sure all of us understood why we celebrated Christmas. If it was a weekend we would go to Church.

If it were not for God choosing to send up his son Jesus to save us, we wouldn't have all the rest. Please remember, as you go through this holiday season, to keep Jesus as the center. It isn't about what you get Christmas morning it is about what He gave on the cross. Thank you my Lord.