Saturday, November 22, 2008

Holiday Traditions

This was to be posted on Thursday, but I'm a little behind--mainly due to some traditions!!

We have many traditions in our home for Christmas--even what we serve for breakfast every year is a tradition. I make Christmas Candy Cane breads--a sour cream yeast dough filled with dried apricots and marischino cherries. These are candy cane shaped, baked and then drizzled with a glaze. They are a lot of work, and I wasn't going to make them one year and was met with great protest!! "But, it is a tradition!" So, the tradition remains and continues!! I'll post the recipe later if anyone is interested.

I have to say that the greatest tradition that we have is our actual Christmas ornaments. My children are now 27, 25 and 23. Each year since the year they were born, I have either purchased or made them a Christmas ornament. When they were very young, I purchased ornaments that were appropriate for young children.

However, as they grew and started participating in different activities and had jobs, I've tried and mainly been successful in finding ornaments that pertained to their individual accomplishments during that year.

When my son started playing the violin, he received a wooden violin for his ornament. The same applies to my oldest daughter--she plays the cello, so she received a cello the year she started playing. My youngest plays the flute, so, yes, I have a flute on my tree. This youngest daughter also took many years of dance lessons, so she has several ballerinas--glass blown, porcelain, and a pair of point shoes for the year she accomplished that goal.

My son worked through high school at a local grocery store in their seafood department. He received a lobster for the tree that year.

The ornaments that stay in my mind the most though was one of the many years where I had little to spend and had to wait until the very last minute (Christmas Eve, actually) to do any of my Christmas shopping. I had very little to spend, and these children knew this. I did what shopping I could, and then remembered--the Christmas tree ornaments!!

I only had a few dollars left to spend, so I headed over to WalMart to see what I could find. By this time, not much was left that would accommodate my limited budget. I looked and looked and finally ended up with three ornaments--one for each of them. I was not happy with these ornaments. They had nothing to do with any accomplishments that year. But, it was what I could find for the amount of money I had to spend.

I have to admit that these are not very attractive ornaments. In fact, I would never have purchased them except for the "tradition" of this.

As my children have grown and the youngest moving to Texas, a new tradition has developed. My Chirstmas tree may be in the stand and ready to be decorated, but it is not decorated until she arrives home, no matter what day or hour, and the three of them decorate the tree together. One year she arrived at my home on Christmas Eve, close to midnight, and they stayed up until 2 a.m. decorating the tree together.

I did not see the tree until the next morning. I was sound asleep while they were doing this. When I awoke the next morning and saw the tree, there were the three WalMart, not so attractive ornaments, hanging on the tree--just as they have been every year since I bought them.

I told them that they really didn't need to put those ornaments on the tree, that I knew they didn't particularly care for them. The answer from my children:

"These belong on our Christmas tree because they are a reminder of the year when we had nothing."

They really didn't have "nothing", but it was very little compared to some other years. We have had years since where times have been lean and there has been very little in the way of presents. But, those ornaments hang on my tree every year, as a reminder to me and to them-- how blessed we are because there are those that have even less.

And this year, my son is starting a new tradition--instead of buying his sisters personal Christmas gifts, he has made arrangements to purchase the "goat and two chicks" package" through the World Vision Catalog--a gift to those who definitely have less than we do, in his sisters' names.

I have asked my son repeatedly what he would like for Christmas, and he repeatedly says, "Nothing". After learning of his interest in this organization, I asked him to look through the catalog and see what affected him the most. His answer was "water". He said how we take our water for granted--just go to the sink or shower, turn it on, and there it is--clean water. And he read about how so many children are dying every year due to water related illnesses.

My Christmas gift to him this year--a donation in his name towards the digging of a well so that these children may have fresh drinking water.

And a new tradition has begun!!

All 3 of my children profess to be nonbelievers of our Savior. I look at my son, his interest in this when he had no interest at all before in the plight of others, and I am seeing a softening of his heart, and I thank God for this.

Make sure and stop by the Internet Cafe and visit all the participants sharing their own holiday traditions and ideas. Who know? You may find something that you would like to start as your own tradition!.

I'll be back later today to post some progress in my handmade Christmas presents, which has become another tradition. I have a few pictures to take and download--so probably by this afternoon.

In the meantime, if you'd like to hear some inspiring music, you could stop by here and view "Then Sings My Soul Saturday" which is hosted by Amy at Signs, Miracles and Wonders.

K--that's all for a while!!



HisFireFly said...

There you are!!

Just finished sending an email off to you, then noticed this post.

We also give gifts from the World Vision catalog.. it may be the 1 tradition Rick and I have formed together.

I haven't had the chance to complete my "traditions" post yet.

Chatty Kelly said...

We do the ornament for each child tradition too.

I would love your recipe.

I hope your children's hearts are soften. Tis the season for miracles!

Denise said...

I like your traditions sweetie.