Wednesday, November 28, 2007
My Favorite Christmas Tradition
Momrn2 at My Quiet Corner is hosting a fun Christmas blogging idea. Go here to join in or read about other fun and meaningful Christmas traditions.
My favorite family Christmas tradition actually occurs before Christmas. It happens on the night we decorate our tree. I usually have the tree put together and the lights are on it - all ready to be decorated.
The kids are all there for dinner - usually something nice like roast beef or lasagna. And we always serve dessert on this night. The dishes are done. The candles are lit. The Christmas music plays softly in the background and we all assemble in the living room. Each daughter is handed her own box of ornaments. Each box contains a homemade ornament that I have made for each year of her life. It took a few years for daughter #4 to understand that her sisters would always have more ornaments than her - and it wasn't because we loved them more! Each girl is given this years ornament and they add it to their box. Then each daughter hangs her own ornaments on the tree.
We arrive to the most important moment of the evening - the placing of the star on top of the tree. And the story of how the star came to be. You see on our very first married Christmas we spent all the money we had on a tree and we didn't have any ornaments. So we strung popcorn and hung some little wooden painted ornaments that my mother had sent me. But we didn't have a top for the tree. That would never do. So my husband cut a star out of some cardboard and we covered it in tin foil. My husband, a college student at the time, found a ring from his Greek memory cards and attached it to the back and that was what we hung on our tree. For some crazy reason we became sentimentally attached to that star - it always reminds me of where we were and how far we have come. And somewhere along the line of time it became a sacrilegious idea to ever think of replacing it with something else. Every year we tell our girls this story and of course we embellish it with how very poor yet how rich in love we were. They love this story. Then dad hangs the star and the girls all argue about who is going to get that star after we are gone! Daughter #1 always sheds a few tears - funny, sentimental girl!
After the tree is done we enjoy homemade hot chocolate made from half & half and Hershey's bars or egg nog. We add handmade marsh mellows and Peppermint Bark from Williams & Sonoma.
And we bask in each others presence.
As our girls are growing and moving and getting married and having babies, I sense that this tradition is about to change. Change doesn't have to be bad, but it is different and sometimes different is hard. We will adjust. New traditions will be formed.
But the old ones will always be pondered in my heart.