Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas- Our Traditions

We have a few Christmas traditions.  We hope that you have made your own with your family.  My friend L.B. always tells me that she longs for the "team spirit" that we have in our family.  Some of that is what others see, but not what is true, if you know what I mean.  But, we do try to sacrifice some (sometimes a lot) of ourselves for the team.  For instance, since the kids have been in school, I would love to escape often or even occasionally on a weeknight and let the kids deal with their own homework, but I stay and tough it out to support them in their school.  It also wouldn't be fair to "honey" who works hard all day.  I have also given up (at least mostly) Friday night scrap-booking crops.  I may go occasionally, but after a week of school, I am longing for the family to be together and in one place.  This might not be something we can do forever especially with the kids getting older, but right now, we can.  I have also given up my yearly "girl trip".  Truthfully, right now there is no one free to travel with me and I don't feel the urge to travel much alone without my family.  

The "manly man", of course, gives up a lot to be a good dad.  He could be hunting or fishing or whatever, but he chooses to do what is best for the family.  He rarely gets a "man break".  That does happen the weekend of Veteran's Day every year, but not often otherwise. And, he doesn't do the typical man things like watching the holiday bowl games or poker or whatever it is that other men do not involving their families.   

Anyway, that was a little off-subject.  Back to Christmas.  Part of being a team is also building traditions that make holidays (and normal days) special.  

Here are a few of our Christmas ones:
  • Christmas letters - letters written to each child to encourage and exhort them in what they have done right and things that they might want to work on.  
  • Cheese and crackers, fruit, sparkling juice on Christmas eve in the den 
  • Opening one present on Christmas Eve (parent's choice)
  • Oyster Stew - we have this for Thanksgiving and Christmas almost without fail
  • Reading the Christmas story from Luke (the kids each read a little) before presents  and then.... 
  • Prayer together
These little things help us remember what is important this time of year:  God and family (in that order).

We also always see his family the weekend before for fondue and presents, and my family the weekend after (or some time in the holidays).  We usually always seek to have Christmas day itself  in our own home.  That doesn't always happen because of various family commitments, but usually.  This helps us focus on the core unit which is hard in today's culture.  And that is kind of my point.  This is a common theme of my blog, but make time for each other.  Make sacrifices for your family and remember to do all you can to draw the string softly yet tightly (and lovingly, of course) around your spouse and kids.  I think it helps when times are tough to remember that you had some good solid memories and traditions.  Having just been to the Gardens, forgive the gardening metaphor, but it helps to construct a lattice for your family to grow on!!  

Thanks again for all your comments to me personally about enjoying my blog.  It feels good to write it simply for myself, but it does help to know from time to time that others are reading!! I love and cherish all my friends.  You make my life sooooooo much richer.

1 comment:

friend S said...

I loved you Christmas traditons. We also read Luke on Christmas Eve. It was my parents tradition. We use to draw names and exchange letters to each other instead of gifts. Sadly that has faded with time. But I like the letter to the children idea. I think I'll adopt some of your ideas for 09. Love you friend,