When we talk about family traditions, Christmas traditions are often at the top of the list. As the holiday approaches, take a few minutes to preserve your family’s Christmas traditions.
As you write, reminisce about your Christmas traditions growing up. How do they compare to the ones you now have? Things to include:
What are your family’s favorite baked goods during the season and who was most likely to have baked them.
Did or do you decorate early? Was (is) there any such thing as over-decorating in your house? Who does the decorating? What are the ornaments like? Do any come from other households or faraway places? Do you have a live or artificial tree? Do you buy the tree or cut it yourself.
What are your Christmas traditions when it comes to exterior Christmas lights? Is your house visible from space at Christmas time? Do you have lighted figures that have graced your lawn for decades?
Do your Christmas traditions include throwing or attending an annual Christmas party?
Were you part of a church Christmas pageant as a child? Are you still? (Don’t be embarrassed, I’m raising my hand here. I usually have a part in a church Christmas drama.)
Do you have separate Advent and Christmas traditions or do you celebrate them together in your house? Do you have a special advent wreath or prayers you say?
Many homes have a crèche that has been passed down. What is the history of your crèche or crèches? Do you continue to add figures to the scene each Christmas?
Do you have Christmas decorations that have become heirlooms over the years. This could include stockings that were made with care. Are there any Christmas traditions involved in the hanging or displaying of these decorations?
Length of your Christmas Season
Do you start decorating the day after Halloween, or do you wait until a couple of weeks before Christmas to deck the halls? Do you (or your spouse or significant other) take down the tree immediately after Christmas?
Christmas Eve traditions
Do you have a traditional meal? Do you attend a church service? Is it a midnight service? Does family gather? Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?
Christmas day traditions
What’s for breakfast on Christmas day? Do you open presents on this day? Do you visit others or have family come in for a meal? What do you eat on Christmas day?
Adopted Christmas traditions
Have you enhanced your traditions with traditions from in-laws and friends? Have you lived in other parts of the country or world? Did you adopt traditions from those places? (Hint: For an example, see Christmas Away from Home.)