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Sharing Traditions During the Holiday Season
Traditional Christmas Stories
It is very easy to get caught up in the holiday movies during the Christmas season, and I have written about my favorite: It’s a wonderful life, but, it is also important to acknowledge the tradition of reading favorite Christmas stories together.
Each year many new children’s Christmas stories come out from well-loved authors, but there are some classics that get pulled off of the shelf to be enjoyed over and over again. Parents and grandparents can help children make the correlation when they explain that books are usually written first and the movies are visual expressions of the author’s words. There are so many examples of this, such as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer , Frosty the Snowman, and The Polar Express.
One of the traditional storybooks that we have enjoyed as a family is, ‘Twas the night before Christmas’. Since we had a fireplace in one of the homes we lived in, we would build a big fire and sit around enjoying the story together with popcorn and hot chocolate. Naturally, our stockings would be hung by the chimney with care.
One of the nicest things my dear friend Joyce Nelson Shellhart, author of, gave to me as a baby gift for my first born, was a Christmas tree ornament with the instructions to continue building her a collection. She was a December baby, so it was a timely gift. Dress to Impress: How a Navy Blazer Changed My Life
Following suit, I have given an ornament to my children, as well as my grandchildren, each year. They in turn have given me ornaments that have been selected with a particular reason in mind-either the color, the delicacy of the material, or a special interest. I have a beautiful hand painted butterfly ornament, for instance.
Children enjoy making crafts and there are so many easy ornament ideas that take little preparation. One of the first ‘ornaments’ that our children and my grandchildren have made was for birds. The directions are very simple: just tie a piece of yarn or string around a pinecone to hang it to a tree branch, cover the pinecone with peanut butter, then roll it in wildlife bird seed. It is simple and a child can do this without too much assistance from an adult.
Giving Christmas ornaments to friends can be a delightful and inexpensive gift to remember them by. Or, have a social gathering to meet for the holidays where invited guests bring a dessert and ornament to exchange. And, it doesn’t have to be before Christmas-any time during the season would be fun.
Traditional Christmas Gifts
There are two traditional gifts that I give each year, and I’ve noticed that my oldest daughter has followed suit. The first is the giving of books and the second is a new pair of pajamas.
It’s no surprise that I would be giving books as gifts, I do it all the time…yes, even in the day of the Kindle because I enjoy the actual feel of the book in my hand; the visual aesthetic of the pictures-or the print, on the pages, and the excitement of snuggling in bed with a brand new book.
My mother, who was a librarian, an avid reader, and an advocate for literacy, really started it all. I just continue the tradition, as I hope my children will.
I’m not sure when I started the tradition of new pajamas, but I have a suspicion it had to do with going on trips and wanting my kids to have nightwear that has no holes. Besides, who doesn’t like to jump into a cozy pair of pj’s on a cold winter’s night? I know I do.
Three traditions at one time
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The spirit of Christmas
- The Christmas Orange: A Christmas Tradition
Family traditions during the holidays are a great way to spend the holiday season. Here is my family's tradition of the Christmas orange.
- The Kindness Of A Stranger
A thank you note to a stranger, in the form of a poem, who helped a stressed out traveller during the Christmas holiday. Read this beautiful, original poem, and the story that preceded it, to discover that the kindness of strangers does still exist.
- Russian Tea Cakes
What is a Russian Tea Cake? It is a delicate cookie that shows itself during the holidays-a favorite treat for my family and I. Here is a little background and the recipe for these delicious cookies.