Christmas Traditions

Last week I wrote about one Christmas tradition, the candy bag. It’s getting close to the big night and I’m running out of time so this week it’s about several Christmas traditions, both from my past and today.

First off, a good Christmas tradition is to focus on the reason for this holiday-the birth of Jesus. There was nothing in my childhood like Christmas Eve services at church. To hear the story of the birth of Jesus and the circumstances leading up to it really gives you the perspective to enjoy Christmas. If you want to avoid Christmas depression, focus on this perspective and the joy of others and you will do fine. If you focus too much on personal needs it makes you anxious and miserable.

A nice tradition Lisa and I enjoy are some favorite Christmas movies. “It’s a Wonderful Life.” and “Love Actually” typically make the list although “A Christmas Story” has it’s own 24 hour time period during which we enjoy the movie over and over. Lisa has started watching more of the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies now. Maybe I will watch one day too, although I still am going through my “making snarky comments” period of acceptance.

The advent calendar reappeared in our lives about a decade ago. Lisa and I both grew up with advent calendars however we could never find a calendar with the story of Christmas. There were calendars with little pieces of candy or pictures of reindeer and Santa however it wasn’t until the last few years that we found real advent calendars, They are a daily reminder of the importance of the season.

We put our tree up the week-end after Thanksgiving as the cats and I would have a Christmas tree up year-round. Twitch is older now and doesn’t bother the tree however Clyde loves to climb the interior trunk of the tree and release ornaments to Twitch as he stays at ground level. We keep telling ourselves that this feline vandalism is in the true spirit of cooperation between our boys however we are both a little tired of picking up ornaments.

I like Christmas food too. Lisa and I made colache a few years ago but haven’t set-aside the time and labor to make the dough for another batch. I love a bowl of mixed nuts during the holidays and even a little egg-nog. ‘Nog is a little thick so I often mix some milk into it although brandy or whiskey also are an effective tool at thinning its’ viscosity.

I think those little giving trees are a nice addition to Christmas too. When you see the simple requests on these trees it is very touching. Filling out these lists will be a joyful memory long after the decorations are put away and can be enjoyed well into the “cabin fever” season which comes along a month or so after Christmas.

I like the oldest tradition of all, salvation. Forget about all the traditions, forget about the origin of certain religious practices, this is a birthday celebration, A little boy, born to save the world in crucifixion then rise again in God’s triumph over death. A pretty nice tradition, a really decent gift, a sacrifice that will satisfy your hunger for all times. Merry Christmas.

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