Friday, December 18, 2009

My Christmas TOP 10....

My grandmother (Bamboo) always loved Christmas...things just haven't been the same since she passed 6 yrs ago. Christmas' just don't have that same spark. She was the glue that held us all together. But I still hold on to many of her family traditions that she passed on to me.

1. Bring out your treasured ornaments every year and discuss who gave them, when they gave them or where you found them. Even when everyone knows all the stories and all the ornaments! (I probably have more of my grandmother's on my tree than my own but I can tell a lot of stories about them!)

2. Be THANKFUL: BE GRACIOUS!

3. Stay up late on Christmas eve, wrapping even the stocking stuffers: ie: chewing gum, socks, bags of candy, little notepads etc. (actually this was a dual ritual for Bamboo and her sister, my great Aunt Francis!)

4. Everyone gets to open one small present on Christmas eve! So fun... we usually buy a gift just for that night, something small. But she enjoyed it so much...we would light the fire and roast marshmallows and string popcorn...

5. Treasure handmade gifts....This is MY FAVORITE ONE... my Bamboo always loved the gifts and ornament that her grand kids, schoolkids and neighbors made. These were prized tokens that received honored places in her home and now in ours. Every yr, we have Faith make her gifts to each other and we treasure these above all others....play dough hand prints....LOVE THEM!

6. Daddy gets the biggest stocking! While Carl's is not as big as my grandfather's (HUGE!) Daddy still gets the honored stocking. Just a special thing for the patriarch of the family! LOL! And we fill them with silly stuff ie: wrapped chewing gum....

7. This one is going to be controversial... but my Bamboo and Daddy Bob never told their children that there was a Santa Clause. She said that she couldn't lie to them, in good conscience. She never put presents under the tree "from Santa"...We have continued this tradition with Faith. We want her to know to the best of her ability that Jesus is the REASON for Christmas and not be swayed by by the Santa idea. We also want her to know that Mommy and Daddy work hard to give her a gift b/c we love her and that she is not entitled to gifts. Sorry Santa supporters....no harm meant!

8. Enjoy your family...Treasure them...This is the most important one. Give of yourself to your loved ones and others. While I am working on this...my grandmother never seemed to sleep during the holidays. She was always decorating, shopping, wrapping, giving of herself to others....
9. Save your wrapping paper...used and unused! This is such a funny one! I will admit that I have wrapping paper, I am using this year that belonged to my grandmother when I lived with her... over 13 years ago. Some of it I bought! We unrolled one, tonight, that must be 15 yrs old! I have really carried this one too far! I don't think I have bought a roll of paper in 7 or 8 yrs! I also save all the bags we get at Christmas and reuse them, unashamed! I still have probably 15 rolls from her house!

10. Always read the Christmas Story...before opening presents...everyone together...everyone listening. This is such a special time for me...I still see Bamboo honoring Carl for the first time with a request to read the Bible for the family. Now it is his official "Paternal" responsibility which he wears with pride. We both always share a silent, warm smile with each other as we remember what God did for all of us and for the memories that my Bamboo passed on to us.



5 comments:

TMI Tara said...

Wonderful traditions! My family does many of the same ones :)

I like what you are doing about not telling Faith there is a Santa. Hmmmm, this gives me something to think about. Jesus is the reason. Hmmm....

Katy said...

I'm like you on the Santa thing--I just dont' feel like doing it--it feel like lying. My mom thinks this is horrible, so I told her Santa can come to her house if she likes, but at our house, we're not talking about him. Just doesn't do it for me.

Amy Genn said...

I'm anti-Santa, too! :)

I mean, I go get Eli's picture with Santa each year...but that's all we do with Santa in our world!

It's all about JESUS in our house! :)

You have some wonderful tradtions, Candace! Thanks for sharing!

BusyLizzyMom said...

What a great list. I am pretty sentimental about the ornaments we have as well, I love opening them up each year and talking about where each one came from. We are not avid church goers but I make sure that we attend Christmas Mass, I think it is so important that Elizabeth understand the true meaning of Christmas. I love the magic of being there; the singing, the families and being reminded of why we celebrate Christmas.

therextras said...

Belated and hopefully happy-later birthday, Candace!

This is a lovely tradition list!

Santa's role in our home was always symbolic from the beginning. Mom and Dad got cred for the presents for sure.

Yea, the reason for the season is the point, isn't it?

Blessed Merry Christmas to your family! Barbara