Christmas time is indeed here. For some it starts sooner and for others – later. No matter when the celebrating begins, every family has their own way of greeting the season. For some it’s all about the tree, for others it’s about the music, and for others still, it’s all about the food. And, for some of us, it’s about all three! And that would be the case with my family.
For us, Christmas starts when the Hallmark Christmas movie season kicks off. We love to watch it throughout the whole season. It’s just not Christmas without it. But we don’t fully submerge ourselves into the celebration until after Thanksgiving. That’s when the fun begins. Traditionally we get our tree the weekend of Thanksgiving. And when I say “get” our tree, I mean drive to our favorite tree farm, comb the farm for the perfect tree, cut it down, take it home and start decorating.
I have two adult girls that love to celebrate Christmas and love to decorate. It’s so wonderful when they’re home to help me cover the house in Christmas. Yes, we do all the cliche` Christmas activities that go along with it like making hot cider or cocoa, playing Christmas music and decorating the dogs. My younger son is not quite as excited as the girls. He’s more of an observer than a participant, but he still enjoys the festivity.
One of the most important traditions we have is playing Christmas music. I even have old albums – yes albums – I used to listen to when I was growing up. The lovely carols and songs are still my favorites at Christmas time, and now I can share them with my children. So as we decorate, we listen to a little holiday nostalgia.
Baking is also one of our seasonal traditions. Some of the favorite cookies we make are gingersnaps, toffee crunch, nutmeg cookies and chocolate mint brownies – all so delicious. Of course we also love to make traditional Christmas cookies. Sometimes we don’t get to them ‘til after Christmas, but eventually we take a day and experience the fun and yumminess. We also like to share our sweet treats with friends, colleagues, neighbors and all who visit. Don’t forget the eggnog!
One of my personal favorite holiday activities, I started a few years ago. Every December I choose one event or activity going on around town that we attend as a family. One of my favorites is going to the Holiday Pops or Handel’s Messiah at the Symphony. Other years we’ve attended a local holiday play or toured a decorated historical mansion or attended a Christmas ballet with a message of salvation.
Most years we also go to a neighboring town where people are dressed as Dickens characters in period garb walking around singing and interacting with people on the street. We grab some hot Cocoa or coffee and get about town – always lots of fun.
I’ve shared some of the special activities that are important to our family each year as we celebrate Christmas. But, the underlying theme to the whole season is still the birth of our Lord. It’s something that we have always talked about with our children. They do know Jesus is the reason for the season.
One thing I’ve always done when decorating is to place some sort of nativity in each room of the house, so that no matter where you are, you are always reminded of that truth.
I hope you enjoy finding your own family activities and traditions that are meaningful to your family. Begin traditions that will be carried on from year to year in your household and share the Spirit of the season.
Article Written by: Kim Shattell