December 24, 2016

December 24 and 25: Traditionally

The Laughlin Christmas Tree 2016
Laughlin Christmas Traditions
1. The house is decked inside and out. Dad's beautiful wooden nativity spotlighted in the front yard.
2. Local Christmas events and Nativity musical shows attended and also driving around town to see Christmas lights.
3. Bubble lights are on the Christmas tree.
4. Group photos taken with everyone in dressy clothes.
5. You may open one Christmas Eve gift from parents and all other gifts not from parents, particularly traditional time to open gifts to and from siblings.
6. Christmas morning gifts from parents for kids are laid out on sofas or chairs that are pre-selected by kids.
7. Christmas gifts opened in a fast paced whirlwind of flying paper and ribbon.
8. Lots of singing around the piano. Songs played by pianists of all ages.
9. Lots of snacks and desserts for all day grazing.
10.  Grandchildren enjoying the vintage electric train and other fun games together.

Crawford Christmas Traditions
1. The house is decked inside and out. Cherished vintage lighted nativity stood in the front yard.
2.  Grandma and Aunt Polly participating in The Living Christmas Tree at church. 30 years in a row!
3. Visiting pianist son Dan and/or violinist daughter -in -law Janet participate in First Baptist worship service.
4. Group photos often taken, but no particular dress code requirements.
5. You may open one Christmas Eve gift chosen by Grandma.
6. Attending the Christmas Eve service, a silent Lord's Supper, and the Galaxy of Lights display at the Botanical Gardens.
7. Patient, lengthy present opening on Christmas morning.
8. Lots of singing around the piano. Songs played by pianists of all ages.
9. Yummy breakfast served as an intermission during lengthy present opening.
10. Stockings unpacked after all other gifts were opened.

What fun to combine these traditions lists for our little family. Because we often travel to grandparents' houses for the holidays, we keep both sets of these traditions. . . just alternated every other year.  I am eager to see the list of Christmas season traditions that our kids will compile. As our families grow, new ideas are added and new traditions created. One of my favorites from our Florida years has been visiting the decorated lobbies of Disney hotels or to visit the theme parks for which we have annual passes.We pretend to be tourists and soak in the holiday hub bub- crowds and all. The more the merrier. We all five love it. Yes, we love it all.

No matter what way we celebrate, both Dan and I were taught to make all of the hype and silliness about the worship of the Lord, to celebrate His birth. What an amazing gift we have already received. We teach this to our children as well.

Traditionally, reading the Christmas story from the Bible is not required in our home on Christmas morning, because we are all learning about this big event on a regular basis. It is so helpful however to refocus our attention on the Newborn King in big and small ways. It keeps us joyful instead of stressed. We can then remove the self-centeredness of this gift getting holiday.

Merry Christmas, Friends and Family,
Leigh Ann

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