Traditions...meaningful, bonding, and unique to every family.
I always enjoy learning about the various traditions my friends and family look forward to every Christmas. My friends in San Diego spend Christmas morning beachside. They pack a picnic breakfast, a blanket if it’s chilly, and they never neglect to wear matching Santa hats. Another friend watches old Christmas films with her family all morning and afternoon. Sporting their best Christmas pajamas, they relax until the evening, then they prepare a classic Christmas roast for dinner and open presents last. I love how this tradition prioritizes rest and family time, while the excitement for opening gifts grows! I mean, that self-control is impressive!
One of my college roommates shared with me that growing up, her and her four siblings would wake up every Christmas morning to a present treasure hunt! Clues would be hidden throughout the house, leading them to all of their presents. She told me the first clue would always be hidden under their Christmas tree, and they would all have to work together to find the rest. Can you imagine the excitement and thrill of little ones running into each room, finding their treasures? I adore how her family found a way to incorporate creativity and teamwork into their Christmas morning, making the traditional unwrapping of gifts an activity they could savor together.
For me, Christmas is all about honoring long-established traditions, while also pioneering new ones. This is the third Christmas Reed and I will share as a married couple, and we are discovering what old traditions we value, and what new ones we want to make with our future family. I love thinking about the twinkle in our child’s eye when he or she first learns about Santa, the magic of Christmas, and the fulfilled promise of Jesus, our Savior. Every Christmas Reed and I spend together is better than our last, and I know that will only continue!
A classic tradition my side of the family anticipates every year, is decorating the Christmas tree. My Mom lays out each ornament, one by one, bakes some cookies for us to enjoy, and sets the mood with Christmas music. Meanwhile, my Dad lights the fire, and designates who will be putting the angel on top of the tree. This year, my brother Keaton was back in the Bay Area to enjoy this tradition with us. Jackson is a junior in high school, so he was home, and my other siblings, Savannah and Maxwell are finishing up their Fall semester of college in SoCal. We missed them dearly, but three out of the five is pretty good, and we made the best of it! We began the night, as we do most Sunday nights - with my Dad’s famous cooking. He prepared a Southern feast, made complete with mac n cheese, collard greens, and fried chicken. We were spoiled...and stuffed!
The tree was almost complete, and I was chosen as our tree topper! I picked up the golden angel, and decided to do it the hard way. Instead of using a step ladder like any logical person would, Reed hoisted me onto his shoulders, and my messy bun skimmed the ceiling! My stomach hurt from laughter, because every member of my family yelled over each other, instructing me on how to place the angel on the tree. My parents were worried sick, Mom hiding her face from watching, while my Dad stood under me the whole time, ensuring I didn’t fall to the floor. What can I say, I like keeping them on their toes.
I am deeply thankful for my family. They are a gift from God I don’t deserve, and I am blessed to say that our favorite place to be is together. No other season demonstrates that truth more than this one, and beginning with this long-loved tradition was a great way to kick it off!
What is your favorite family tradition? What new tradition do you hope to start this year? Share in the comments below! See you tomorrow, and Merry Christmas!