Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Traditions: One Big Day of Little Traditions

I am on family vacation for the holiday, but while I'm gone, you are in for a treat from some sweet friends. They're sharing their Christmas traditions with us! If you missed one, click here to catch up. Happy reading!
Photo Credit

By Tamara Clare

Throughout the year we have many family traditions, but the traditions we do at Christmas time are by far my favorite.  For us it’s not the big and elaborate traditions, but the little moments we share doing simple things together and enjoying each other’s company that become the most powerful traditions.  Here is how our Christmas day goes…

The alarm clock goes off around 7:00 am.  Our four children are reminded on Christmas Eve when we tuck them in that they are not allowed to come down stairs for any reason until we call them down.  Charlie and I get freshened up while still in our jammies and head downstairs.  I get my coffee, Charlie gets the camera and we hear the kids rustle on the stairs as they wait patiently, giggling in anticipation of what is to come.  I then take their picture as they sit on the stairs while they begin to get frustrated that I just can’t get the right picture.  Finally, they head down the stairs and around the corner to find their stockings full of goodies.

Once we all get situated Charlie reads from the Little Golden Book, The Christmas Story (which was his as a child) and then reads Luke 2:4-22 from the Bible.  It is then that we take a moment of do “popcorn prayer” and each of us prays to our Heavenly Father, giver of all things, especially our Savior Jesus Christ.  This is one of my favorite traditions that help us to keep our hearts and focus on the greatest gift given, Jesus Christ.

What comes next is the fun part.  
Charlie will choose one of the kids to be the one who hands out the gifts.  Then from youngest to oldest we open the gifts one at a time.  I love the gratitude and happiness that is shared when they receive their gifts.

When we are all done opening gifts, Charlie helps the kids put anything together that needs batteries, screws or the use of instruction manual and then we prepare breakfast.  I set the table fancy using my best dishes and water goblets.  The kids love this and feel so adult like and special.  When we sit down to eat we take time again to give thanks to our gracious God and enjoy the feast prepared.

Around noon, my Grandparents and my Dad and Lyn (my God given Mom) come over for Christmas Dinner.  We spend the next few hours preparing one of the most delicious meals of the year.  I wear the apron my Grandma Mary Nell (who is now with Jesus) made. Wearing it makes me feel so close to her.  

So, four generations of women laugh and love, hug and cry and make memories as we prepare and cook the Christmas Dinner.  The men of course are watching football and bonding the way men do as they wait for us to say “It’s Dinner Time!”

All ten of us then sit at our table in the dining room that my daughter Samantha and I prepared and made as beautiful as we could.  Once the kids are done, they excuse themselves from the table, but the adults remain for what seems like hours.  We sit and talk with my grandparents listening to the stories of how they met, when they first fell in love, the hard times, and the good times.   Sometimes we hear stories that we have heard before, but it never seems to matter.   We laugh, we learn and we connect our family of families one generation at a time.
This has been the way we have shared Christmas Day for the last 7 years.  It’s a day that we love to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the gift of life He gave us, the overflow of His love through gifts and sharing with one another and building a strong family through simple traditions.
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About TamaraTamara is married to an amazing husband Charlie and has 4 beautiful children that she dedicates her life to.  She loves having “Coffee with Jesus” early in the morning, so she can be a vessel to share His truth and love with all those around her. Tamara desires to always speak in truth, with boldness, yet speak gently to the women who cross her path.  Her passion is for all to taste and see that the Lord is good and find joy through taking refuge in Him. 
^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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