I've been thinking about traditions recently. Friday night I was at our Sunday School party, and we each filled out a name tag that included our Best Christmas Memory. As I thought about it, I came up with many, but I finally wrote, "sitting around the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve". I think I picked that particular memory because generally after our church's Christmas Eve service, we would come home and still have all those warm fuzzies from singing favorite carols and lighting candles and praising the birth of Jesus. It was nice to come home in the dark night and sit with the lights off around the colorful tree, maybe drinking some hot chocolate or hot tea. It was just a peaceful memory for me, and I am all in favor of peacefulness during the rush of the holiday season. I think I also envy those days of being a child and not having the feeling of being rushed or frantic at the holidays as I sometimes do now. I certainly enjoy the season as an adult, but there is something about not having a care in the world and being able to sit in front of a beautiful tree to reflect on Christmas.
I've been trying to come up with some traditions for my immediate family. I think I've brought some of the traditions I had as a child and Jamie has brought some of his from his childhood, but I'm trying to think of some for us as a family unit. Of course we do the tree decorating while listening to Christmas music, reminiscing over favorite ornaments, attending special services at church, etc. However, I'm trying to find that one thing that makes our family's Christmas extra special to us. Maybe it will be attending the Nutcracker performance every year, or a Christmas play. Maybe it will be going to paint our own ornament at the pottery store (which is what we did this year). I'm not sure yet. I'm trying new things to see what that one thing is that sticks with my children as their favorite tradition, and what makes their eyes light up with the joy of Christmas. I'm really enjoying the process of finding out, too! I'm not sure what it will be, but I know that all of my attempts are just small ways of showing my children the love of Jesus through the Christmas season. Tonight we are going to a service at church in which my husband is singing and playing drums (he gets to sing "Little Drummer Boy" and he's very excited :) ). I hope we establish new traditions every year, and I think every year will be special in its own way. I can't wait to find out (when my children are grown) what the kids will say was their favorite family tradition, just as I had that opportunity this year to share mine.