Sorry I'm so late in posting this. I just got home from school yesterday, and it totally spaced my mind until just now. Lucky for me I can set the post date and time for the time and day I meant to post it!
I would have named this post "Merry Christmas!" but it's not quite close enough yet, in my opinion.
In Family Foundations this last semester, we studied The Family: A Proclamation to the World, especially family traditions and teaching the Gospel in the home. It is almost Christmas time so I thought I'd share a few family traditions my family has had for as long as I can remember.
1. Christmas Tree
|Christmas Tree 2011|
Around Halloween, my dad starts pressuring my mom to allow us to put the Christmas tree up. My mom always says no, but he keeps bugging her, so she usually gives in around Thanksgiving. I usually put the tree up myself (a fake one, because my mom is allergic to real ones), then my dad puts the lights on, and then we pull out all the other decorations we've made or bought throughout the years. Last we put up the star. On Christmas Eve we put all the presents we bought for each other under the tree before we do our Christmas Eve traditions. Later that night, Santa puts candy canes on the tree as well (don't ask me why, I don't know!)
2. Nativity Set
|My mom's Nativity Set Christmas 2011|
|My Nativity Set Christmas 2011|
At the same time we put up the Christmas Tree, we also put up my mom's Nativity set. She's had it since before she met my dad, and we've put it up every year as long as I can remember. It goes on a shelf by the tree, or on whatever surface we can find. A couple years ago my mom bought me my own Nativity set for Christmas, and now that goes up along with hers. Last year we put them side by side. I just got home from school yesterday, so I haven't got around to putting mine up yet, but it will go up as soon as I get around to it, hopefully tomorrow!
|Nativity Sets and Stockings before Christmas Eve. Christmas 2011|
My mom started buying plain red stockings when I was around nine or ten. She bought glitter glue and we wrote our names on ours. We had to get new ones when we moved into our new house, but now we have a stocking for all seven of us, as well as all of our pets. As you can see, that's quite a lot. On Christmas Eve, Santa fills our stockings with oranges, apples, nuts, and chocolate.
|Stockings filled for Christmas morning. Christmas 2011|
|Stockings filled for Christmas morning. Christmas 2011 pt. 2|
4. Advent Calendar
We used to use the one my mom made when we were younger, but that one got lost. Now we have a binder full of stories we can read each night of December up until Christmas Eve, and songs that go along with those stories. This is one of our favorite things to do. We used to get candy every night as well, but we don't always get them any more.
5. 'Twas The Night Before Christmas
My mom always reads us 'Twas The Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve night, right before we go to bed. My sisters and I recite it along with her now, because we know it so well. It is my favorite tradition ever! And it is definitely the one I'll treasure the most from my childhood.
6. Christ's Birth
We always read about Christ's birth either Christmas Eve, or before we open presents on Christmas morning. I think this is one of the best parts of Christmas, though I didn't agree as a kid.
It's always important to remember what Christmas is really about, and to remember why we spend this time as a family.