At our small group we were talking about some of the Christmas traditions that have changed for us over the years.  Oh, it is good to have seen so many changes and still love the Christmas season. 

We then watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas together.  I haven’t watched that one in a long time.  We do not watch this type of movie over and over as some people do for sentimental reasons.  That is maybe good.  I think I actually remember watching it the first year it was a movie – I was about 16.  It was a fairly radical little movie when it first came out. 

So here are some of my most vivid Christmas memories and traditions:
– hanging our stockings.  We used my grandad’s stump socks – he had an amputation after WWI and the socks were perfect for Santa – and big.
– The paper pop-up manger scene always under the tree at my grandparent’s house
– The year the root beer brewing under my parents bed blew up!
– The year the three of us older kids drove to Minneapolis where my dad was in school.  They have serious snowstorms and we drove through one.  That Christmas Mom and I bought my wedding dress.
– Our first year in the Congo – the year we were going to forgo a tree.  Someone gave us a really bad aluminum one.  It was one of the best we ever have had in terms of the helping set the scene for us.  That year Christmas was illegal in the Congo and we worked – sort of – that day.  Since there was no holiday, the church celebrated most of the night. 
– Homemade ham ( made by scratch – all the way from raising the pig to butchering to curing and smoking )  This is a tradition at our table now – the kids insist.  But I don’t make it myself anymore.
– Tourtiere – I learned how to make this as a treat for Leo
– reading the story from Luke on Christmas Eve before beginning our gift opening.
– lighting the Advent candles and taking time together to read and sing with the kids.

Being together is very important for all of my children at this time of year.  My house has become the gathering spot and I like that.  Christmas Eve is a big night for us.  Christmas Day is quieter since the kids go to their in-laws or to their friends homes.  Boxing day – that seems to be for visiting with friends.

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  1. Liz and I are in an interesting point in our lives. That is, we are fairly new to marriage and still have no kids. We have had several conversations about the traditions we want to begin with our own children (or pass on to them). We’re pretty concious of the importance of these kinds of family rituals like you’re talking about.

    We’ve even decided to make up our own holiday that we’ll celebrate annually with our kids. It’s called Chucklebuster Day.

  2. Great post! I love hearing about other people’s Christmas traditions. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. I started making tourtiere every Christmas a number of years ago – when I was trying to introduce my children to different cultures. We all like it – however I’m still experimenting with recipes to make one that all of us can eat (I’m very allergic to potatoes) and still doesn’t taste strange. I’ve tried it with turnips instead, and it definitely isn’t the same.

    I’ve also had a tradition that I make my kids clothing for Christmas – in January (so that I don’t have the huge deadline thing).