Treasuring Favorite Christmas Traditions

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All 21 Deaton family members together celebrating Christmas. 

Mon., Dec. 19, 2016

Luke 2:19: But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.    

On Saturday, we had our Deaton Christmas celebration. It was a great day! For a few hours, we were able to eat, laugh, catch up on each other’s lives and eat some more.

As we gathered together, I asked every family member to share a favorite Christmas tradition. Here are just a few of the answers various family members shared:

  • Christmas Eve worship
  • Singing Christmas carols
  • Christmas Eve at one grandparents and Christmas Day at my parent’s house
  • Opening presents (the response from several of our youngest family members)
  • Oyster stew on Christmas Eve
  • Grapefruit cut in half a marshmallow with a candy cane in the center and broiled for a short time for Christmas breakfast
  • Time with family
  • Ice fishing
  • Singing “Silent Night” at the end of Christmas Eve worship

Later, we had our Deaton gift exchange with the variety of family Christmas gifts. (See “Were They Practical Gifts?” for more detail on how we do this.) Interestingly, one of my nephews shared this is his new favorite Christmas tradition. He had shared this with his mom just the night before. No, the Winnebago camper wasn’t part of the exchange. Our grandkids enjoy playing with it yet at our house. I promised it would be included next year.

What I’m pleased about is how this has become a great family Christmas tradition. Yes, there were a few highly sought after gifts again this year. I expected my Dad’s Army dog tags to be a popular choice. And they were. What I didn’t expect was how popular the old-fashioned meat grinder would be. It rotated through most every family before landing in Debbie’s family. It barely made the gift exchange, as I wasn’t sure how it would be received. I thought Mom’s wedding shoes would garner a little more interest than they did. Nephew Kevin opened the most gifts. He was gift opener #2 and kept having gifts others thought were interesting.

One of my favorite gifts wasn’t opened until the very end: the birthday card from my Grandma Deaton to my Dad that still included the $7.50 check inside. From 1995. Every year that I received a birthday card from my Deaton grandparents, it came with a $7.50 check. And so did all of our other family members. I threw in my Dad’s bolo tie he wore to square dancing for good measure with the card and check.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition? How will it be a part of your Christmas celebration this week? What is a new or newer tradition that you can incorporate and become a tradition that adds warmth and excitement to your Christmas? How can you share special family traditions as a part of your Christmas celebration?

Just as Mary treasured the events of Jesus’ birth, I pray we can treasure these special times together. Traditions are especially important for the youngest family members. It warmed my heart to hear the traditions my nieces and nephews remember and enjoy. I pray their children will experience similar recollections of Deaton Christmas celebrations and be traditions they treasure for years to come.

Almighty God – we’ve passed down the story of Jesus’ birth for thousands of years. It’s a tradition that continues to have meaning in our lives. May we recall special ways our families have celebrated Christmas. May we pass on great family Christmas traditions that keep us rooted in the arrival of the Christ-child.  Amen.

Friday’s item for Jesus’ birthday box: box of fruit bars

Saturday’s item for Jesus’ birthday box: juice boxes

Sunday’s item for Jesus’ birthday box: toilet paper

Monday’s item for Jesus’ birthday box: box of stuffing

 Blessings –

Dianne

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