Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Definition of TRADITION


1. a: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)
b: a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable
2.: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
As of last year, we began redefining our family Christmas traditions. Before that, we knew that Christmas Eve would be spent at Clay's Mom's house. We would open gifts from the grandparents, then we would go to church for the Christmas Eve service.
On Christmas morning, we would open gifts from us. Then we would head to Clay's Dad's house for brunch...and more gifts. In the afternoon, we would go back to Clay's Mom's for dinner with the whole family. It was two days filled with family, fun, and food.
Last year, we were in Ohio, staying at the Mission House in Columbus. It was still a time filled with food, family, and fun because we were near my mom and brother.
This year however, there was no extended family...but there were LOTS of friends, or we could call them brothers and sisters in Christ. And there was definitely lots of food and fun. We are very blessed to have a community of fellow missionaries with whom we could celebrate the birth of our Savior. (Actually, we'll take any excuse to get together for food and fellowship.)
Levi, sound asleep
by the tree
On Christmas Eve, our family has the tradition of sleeping on the floor in the living room. It's amazing how much our kids look forward to this simple tradition! And in all honesty, this was the first year that I participated. In years past I was either nursing or pregnant, and opted to sleep in my own bed. But this year, the kids said I could have the those kids! So, we all snuggled down in front of the fireplace and the kids were fast asleep. And so were Mommy and Daddy...until the fireworks began at midnight! Never in my life had I experienced fireworks to this degree. I've been told by missionary kids who grew up in Latin America that Christmas just isn't the same if it doesn't smell like gunpowder. Maybe someday I'll agree...for now, it was just stressful. (Add to that a little girl with an earache, a little boy who just didn't feel good, and a Mommy with a head cold.)
All in all, we know it doesn't matter where we are, as long as we are together with our children. And as long as we remember the reason for the celebration. The gifts, the food, the fellowship...all of that is fun. But without the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, it would all be meaningless.

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