Posted by: ad65shorty | December 7, 2010

Guest Post: Family Traditions

Becki’s family loves traditions, especially at Christmas! She has 4 girls (her oldest 3 have left home, her youngest is just entering the teen years), and she has made their childhoods so memorable. She shares some of her favorite family traditions with us today:

We have tons of traditions!  Where do I start?  Well, we have a homemade advent calendar, which the kids take turns opening doors on, and
when they’ve removed the door they trade it in for a candy. 

Dec. 6th is St. Nicholas’ Day, and following Scandinavian tradition, the children put their shoes out in the hall the night before, for St. Nick to leave treats or small gifts in.

Dec. 13th is St. Lucia’s Day.  We do a toned-down version of the Swedish tradition:  We have sweet rolls and cocoa for breakfast and eat them in candlelight.

All year, we keep our spare change in a jar called the Christmas Jar, and on Dec. 23rd we leave it for someone needy.

We have a little manger and a bag of straw on our mantel, and whenever someone does a secret service for someone else, they put a straw in the manger.

On Christmas Eve, we have a program which always includes “The Night Before Christmas,” a nativity pageant complete with costumes, placing the Baby Jesus in the manger, and singing carols.  Then we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and have a birthday cake.

This last one carries on into the New Year. We have a prettly little tin which contains our yearly “gifts to Christ.” They are like New Year’s Resolutions, written on small pieces of paper. Periodically, we take them out and look at them to see how we’re doing. We used to to this on Christmas Eve, but it’s so busy leading up to that day that we didn’t put a lot of thought into it, so we changed our timeline some. On New Year’s Eve, we take the “gifts” out and, if we’ve accomplished them, we get to burn them outside in the snow. If not, we leave them in the tin to add to on Jan. 6th. Jan. 6th is known as Epiphany or Twelfth Night, the official end to the Christmas season in some cultures. It is traditionally the day the wise men came to Jesus. Between New Years and Epiphany, we think about what we want to give to Christ in the new year. On Epiphany, we write down our new gifts and place them in the tin.

Those are the main ones, I think.

Thanx for sharing with us today, Becki! What neat traditions. We just may adopt some of these into our own family!

(Becki has a very creative blog, where she shares party ideas. If you need a party idea with any sort of theme, this is the site to go to. Check out her ideas at The Party Human.)

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