When I was growing up during the Christmas holiday my mom would get together with my aunts and they would make candy all day long. They made divinity, fudge, chocolate peanut butter balls, peanut brittle–and the list went on! But another of our holiday traditions was opening one present on Christmas Eve. I remember carefully trying to figure out which present would be THE one that would have the best gift in it. Inevitably, I would choose the one with socks!
After I was grown, my mother started a new tradition. She collected Department 56 villages. When I say, she collected villages, I mean she had an entire room devoted to them. One of her friends wired the lights up so that all she needed to do was hit the remote for the village to come to life. Setting the village up and taking it down each year got to be such a huge chore, that she decided to leave the room up year round!
My children loved seeing the village and for every Christmas my mom received multiple new pieces as gifts. Her Department 56 club would tour her house for Christmas. Every year she hosted an open house for all the family and friends. When I would bring friends home for Christmas, they would marvel at how much decorating and baking she had done. Quite frankly, I miss my mom the most at Christmas time because she would go all out and decorate her house to the max for Christmas. Honestly, I do not know how old she was when she finally let someone else take over the job of putting up the outdoor lights–but it was well past the time she should be climbing a ladder.
When my husband and I married we started a new tradition and would always go to the Christmas Eve candlelight service, followed by a drive by one of the streets that was all decked out in Christmas lights. And my children got to open one gift on Christmas Eve. Sometimes they even opened socks.
My husband has passed on and my children are grown with children of their own. New traditions have started. Three of my grandchildren help me put up my Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Now instead of being together on Christmas Day, we are together for Christmas Eve. I love that time together and I get out my Christmas headbands and we eat, open presents and just visit.
The one tradition I have continued is attending Christmas Eve candlelight service. I never tire of hearing the story of Jesus’ birth and most of all of his life, death, and resurrection. I love the fact that I have a Savior who left the glories of heaven and took on all the humanness that we each have every day. I love reading about his life and teachings. I am forever grateful that he covers me with his grace each and every day.
So while we all have traditions, and sometimes even some frantic, hectic moments during the Christmas season, make it a priority to set aside time to just soak in his presence and peace. If I am not back on here before Christmas, I am wishing each of you a blessed Christmas as you celebrate the birth of the Savior.
John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”