Little Christmas Traditions
When the children grew up and had families of their own, one of the big changes for us was not having Christmas at home with them on Christmas day. Instead, we get together on Christmas Eve with the kids and grandkids. It’s important, I think, for kids to have traditions within their homes. Things they’ll fondly recall in the decades to come.
Back when the eldest grand was an infant, I started a little tradition: reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas to her. As their families expanded, we stuck with it. The kids all pile onto the sofa and I sit with them and read the story to them. It’s a little thing. But if I’m slow to do it, they remind me. That means a lot to me—that it is important to them.
As they grew, I added another little tradition. We do a craft together and I tell them what we call, “A Christmas Legend.” It’s actually the history of a familiar Christmas item seen all over. Most have stories associated with them, and children love and remember stories.
One year, we made their parents a wreath and I told my Angels the story of how the wreath became a tradition. Another year, we did the Christmas tree, and still another, the ornaments. That year, I goofed up. We painted glass orb ornaments and they didn’t dry quickly! That’s a memory we laugh over now.
We did The Legend of the Candy Cane, and the Angels loved that story so much, the next year, they wanted to hear it again. This year, we’re doing The Legend of the Christmas Stocking. The craft is a simple one. They’ll add their names in rhinestone letters to personalize mini-stockings—so they have a little stocking decorated for their rooms. The story will be the history of the Christmas Stocking.
I love these little traditions, and so do my Angels. They like learning about the familiar things they see at Christmas and I love them knowing the traditions and where and how those things came to be traditions. And, yes, we still pile on the sofa and read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Though one year, when I’d had eye surgery and couldn’t see to read, one of my Angels read it to me and the others. I loved that, too.
These might not seem like big things. To many they might seem insignificant or very small things. But in living, we learn it is the small things in life that are the big things. Memories and traditions, bonds and family, weave their threads and create our personal tapestries, and those tapestries become the lives we create.
Do these things reshape our lives? Create massive change? Alter our realities?
Probably not. But maybe they do in small ways. They warm our hearts, forge and reinforce bonds, and create tender memories we can carry with us forever. They become part of us, and when life’s confusing or tough, just maybe we’ll recall those good feelings and times and our own senses of self.
In the overall scope of life, that’s a pretty big return on the investment in a little tradition.
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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is The Marked Star. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. KNOW IT FIRST! Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter!