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Thursday, November 29, 2007
Christmas Traditions



One of my favorite places to visit is My Quiet Corner. It is a place of quiet reflection and inspiration. Today she is giving us the opportunity to share our Christmas traditions.

Our children are grown and gone – the nest is empty. Some of the traditions remain as we have welcomed precious grandchildren into our family and some have changed. When our children were little and we lived up north, one of our traditions was to go with a few other families from our little church and cut down our Christmas trees. We would drive out to the tree farm with the kids so bundled up in snowsuits, hats, mittens and boots they could scarcely walk and begin the search for the perfect Christmas tree. Usually there was snow on the ground and the kids had a great time playing in the snow while the Dads cut down the trees. Then we would load them up and head to someone’s house for hot chocolate and cookies.

Another tradition that centered on our little church was to load up the old school bus we used to transport those without vehicles to church on Sunday and go to the Nursing Home to sing Christmas Carols. I believe we each received much more of a blessing than we gave. The sweet looks on the faces of those precious people would have to have warmed even the coldest heart. After we made several more stops it was back to our friends’ home for hot chocolate and Christmas goodies (we knew how to have a good time!).

Our kids have such wonderful memories of those times. We still talk about them when we gather together for Christmas.

There are several traditions that have continued. My daughter and I always bake sugar cookies (in addition to the traditional ones I bake every Christmas – Cookie Bars, Pecan Tarts, Thumbprints, Russian Tea Cakes, Sour dough Cookies). The recipe makes dozens of cookies so the deal is I bake the cookies and she does the decorating. In recent years we have added the grandchildren to the cookie decorating detail. They ice and sprinkle to their hearts content.

I started baking a birthday cake for Jesus when the kids were young and that is another tradition that continues. One year I mentioned that I might not bake the usual birthday cake and my son looked so stricken I quickly reassured him that on second thought I would bake it. We have it after the traditional lasagna dinner (everyone being tired of turkey by then). I like it because I can prepare the lasagna in advance and all I have to do is heat it up on Christmas day.

We have always attended Christmas Eve service – sometimes a candle light service, other times singing in the choir. It is a drawing closer to the Lord – a remembering the miraculous gift He wrapped in the form of a tiny baby over two thousand years ago. It is the underpinning of what makes our traditions special – this knowing why we celebrate. How empty it would be if all it was was the exchanging of gifts. How rich and full it is knowing that we have The Gift within our hearts.

Blessings,
 
  posted at 10:48 AM
  10 comments



10 Comments:
At 11:01 AM, Blogger Robin said...

My family is growing and changing and I am facing my traditions changing as well. I look forward to starting new traditions with my grandchildren - I'm expecting my first one next spring!
But I will miss the old ones.

I think baking cookies is a tradition that never has to change!

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger momrn2 said...

We used to head to the woods for a live tree as well. Since we moved in 2000 we can't seem to get a tree that works. Two years ago we broke down and bought a fake one, but I cherish those years we were able to head to the mountains!

As a child we used to carol at the nursing homes as well. What precious memories those times hold for me!

I absolutely love the birthday cake for Jesus idea! What a fun way for everyone to celebrate!!

Thanks for participating and sharing these traditions that hold such memories for you!

And thanks for the kind words you said about My Quiet Corner. Of course you know I always count your visits a pleasure!!! ;-)

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger ellen b. said...

hi Linda,
I love reading everyones traditions. I think it's so cute that you got a reaction about not baking the traditional cake! The lasagna idea sounds great too! Enjoy your times together this year...
blessings...
http://happywonderer.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/christmas-traditions-luke-21-20-and-swedish-pancakes/

 
At 2:29 PM, Blogger Morning Glory said...

These are all such heart-warming and special traditions. I really do love all the warmth that comes with Christmas.

 
At 3:14 PM, Blogger GiBee said...

We used to go to a tree farm and cut our trees down, too... but recently, our church started selling trees as a fund raiser for the youth, so we feel obligated to get our tree from the church. Not as nice and sweet as cutting one down, huh?

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger Cyndi said...

What fun traditions! I love the lasagna dinner idea. A few years ago my family (my parents and brother) started ordering party trays at Chili's for our Christmas gathering. Everyone chips in and it's so easy, and something none of us eats the rest of the year, really, and NO ONE has to cook. Hm. Maybe that's a tradition now, LOL.

I loved reading about how you would cut your own Christmas tree and load up the little bus to go sing at the nursing home. So, so touching. What fun memories those are! I just love the way you wrote about it. :)

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Dawn said...

Such wonderful traditions and memories. The kids and DC used to go cut the tree while I made Kristen's birthday cake. But then we just began buying them from a lot.

Have a blessed week-end!

 
At 2:27 PM, Blogger A Life Inspired said...

From one Texan to another, "Hello" and I'm stopping by your place for some cookies! Yum!

:-)

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger As We Sail... said...

Those are such nice traditions. I haven't found My Quiet corner yet. I will head right over there.

 
At 12:02 PM, Blogger Susanne said...

What beautiful traditions, Linda. Everyone is so meaningful!

 

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