Family traditions are an important part of the Christmas season. Most families have some sort of tradition even if it is something as small as Dad always placing the star on top of the tree, or always spending Christmas day at Grandma's. Our family was no exception so I would like to tell you about my favorite childhood family tradition.
Santa Claus always managed to get to our house early on Christmas Eve. I guess he had to start somewhere, right? But with 4 excited, nosy, little girls of various ages living in the house there was no way he was going to sneak in and out undetected. Not to worry, this was never a problem. Every year as soon as it started getting dark, we would all pile into the car to drive around town to see the Christmas lights. It was a treat we always looked forward to as Mom and Dad drove us around our little town to see everyone's decorations and colorful lights. We were way too excited to figure out why we always had to wait for Daddy in the car.
So, in case you haven't figured out by now where this is headed; sure enough, when we returned home we would walk into the living room and find that while we were gone Santa had stopped by and left a room full of presents! Pandemonium then set in as packages were torn open and paper flew through the air at a frantic pace. Bedtime was late as there were new toys to put together and playthings to try out. Those are wonderful family memories.
As we got older certain details of the evening changed. After Jane married, her husband Gayle became our chauffeur for our trip around town and Mom and Dad stayed behind to greet Santa. Then when I became a teenager and sang in our church choir I would have to leave in time to attend our 11:00 p.m. Christmas Eve church service.
After we all grew up and had families of our own, we started out trying to keep our Christmas Eve tradition, minus the sight-seeing trip. Unfortunately, as our families grew and branched out it became harder and harder to keep our Christmas Eve tradition. We still always make time for our families to get together at Christmas but the date often has to change. The date isn't important. Family is what's important and we will always find the time to get together.
This year our family gathering will be much different. This will be our first since Mom was killed in a car accident. Mom was the heart of our family and she instilled in us the importance of keeping family close. Her spirit will still be the heart of our Christmas.
My wish for you this Christmas is that you will take time to appreciate your own family traditions. Remember the old ones and while you're at it, make some new ones.
Until next time...that's my view.