“Would you like it?”
I was still recovering from a slight case of tree envy I acquired while helping Grandma set up her new, flocked tree when she offered to give me a nativity set Mom hand-glazed and fired years ago. I’ve been dreaming of ways to bring unique touches to our home this Christmas. In this moment, I realized that even more than having a perfectly trimmed tree, this scene would serve as a reminder of how faith is central to the celebration of Christmas in our family.
We’ve closed the chapter on another Thanksgiving and December is almost upon us. In the middle of this holiday season, there is evidence of history and culture shaping our traditions.
This year, I am inspired to uphold traditions that have been part of our family for as long as I can remember. Driving around to look at lights, reading Luke 2 aloud on Christmas morning and baking cinnamon rolls will all make the list.
I’m making room at the table for Nostalgia.
What about the childhood days of my grandparents? What traditions may have been lost along the way that I might be able to restore? This might require a little digging and a trip down Memory Lane, but I have a feeling the conversation will be a treasured moment.
With the opportunity to hold to traditions of the past, we create new experiences, making memories to last a lifetime. Need a few ideas to get the wheels turning?
- Keep the artificial tree in the box and go on a hunt to harvest a live tree.
- Start a batch of wassail on the stove and invite friends over to watch a Christmas movie.
- Let the warmth of candles light your home in the evening.
- Research how people around the world celebrate.
- Go caroling.
- Gather the family to see the Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol or a Christmas concert put on by the local symphony.
- Skip the mass mailing of Christmas cards and send a few handwritten notes to the ones you hold dear.
- Go on a winter excursion to see your favorite summer view covered in snow.
- Attend a Christmas Eve service.
- Take the kids shopping for toys and groceries to support a local drive.
- Craft a handmade ornament or learn to knit a scarf.
- Bundle up to watch a light parade.
- Add a Christmas classic to your December reading list.
- Hunt for unique decorations at the flea market or second-hand store.
In it all, let’s discover the joy of rediscovering tradition. 2016 may be the year when we begin (or begin, again) a tradition to be carried on for generations to come!