Thursday, December 3, 2009

What Does Christmas Look Like?

Having a family, even of just one or two, can be a great time to start traditions for the holidays. When we were first married, we didn't have any Christmas ornaments. We bought a small potted live tree at a hardware store, and to the tree we tied tiny scrolls of paper with pieces of plastic ribbon. These pieces of paper became our ornaments. On each piece of paper, one of us would write down something Christlike that the other person did.

On Christmas morning, along with opening presents, we opened each scroll. It was fun to see acts of Christlike kindness that we noticed in each other. Sometimes we didn't even realize the other person noticed. We later purchased a small fiber optic tree after the live tree died, and continued the tradition. This year C suggested we do this with the big tree we cut down after Thanksgiving.

About four years ago we started a new tradition. Some time during the holiday season we spend a night or two at our fave staycation spot. Sometimes we ride snow mobiles, and one year mine flew away into a snowbank, leaving me behind. Last year we got snowed in, which made it even more cozy and romantic. The gazebo is a little less inviting in the winter, but the fireplace is very welcoming.

We have also visited a historic Christmas site several times during the years, and I always love finding a Messiah sing-a-long to join. I love Isaiah's words combined with Handel's music!

I know families who give Christmas presents to their children, and then let the children choose one gift to give to a needy family.

I once met a young man who told me that at age 19, he finally learned that every Christmas his father secretly gave out boxes of food and presents every year for Christmas! His father wanted to serve and give to others secretly, and unnoticed, because he wanted to give for the right reasons. That type of humble and sincere giving really left an impression on me.

Sooooo. . . What is your favorite holiday tradition?

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