Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Christmas Tradition

  I love Christmastime.  It truly is a wonderful time of year.  I love celebrating Christ's birth, telling and retelling the Christmas story, buying presents, decorating the house, making goodies, and definitely listening to Christmas music.
  A lot of families have Christmas traditions, and our is no different.  I love our tradition.  To be honest, though, we kind let a tradition that I had with my family overflow into our family.  But that's okay, because it's a great one.
  It started a long, long time ago when my sisters and I started wanting to buy each other Christmas gifts...but we didn't have any money of our own!  My parents came up with the idea that we would start exchanging ornaments - after all, they were the ones funding the presents!  Each year at Thanksgiving, we drew a name and bought an ornament for that person.  Something that was so "them".  Like my dad usually gets some along the lines of Tennessee Volunteers.  Except for one year, when I got him his favorite said, "Oldest Child...Dad's Favorite."  Of course I am!
  Some are funny.  Like when Jacob got a big donut ornament the first Christmas after he became a police officer.  Some have childhood meanings - like the Cat in the Hat my dad got me because he used to read that book to me all the stinkin' time since it was my favorite.
  Some have super good stories behind them.  Like when my youngest sister got my mom a glass ballerina ornament one year.  As most of us set there trying to not laugh (she was only like 9 or so at the most) because this gift did not make any was not a ballerina nor did she enjoy going to a ballet performance.  Then Maley pops up and says, "I got it because it's pretty, like you, mommy." Melt my heart.
  Some have a poetic meaning.  Like my clear swan that my sister, Maci, got me.  I was pregnant with AB when she gave it to me.  I kind of had the same reaction to it as I did to the glass ballerina.  Then Maci, my English major - literature loving little sister, said, "Swans always protect and take care of their young by covering them with their wings.  I know that you will always take care of and protect your children."  Melt my heart. (Insert a sidenote:  Never discount your little sister's heart or thought process!)
  And so the tradition continues with our family.  We get the kids an ornament every year, as well as each other.  We take a picture of it and I put it into our photo album called, "The Story of Our Tree".  We know what year each ornament was given and, when the kids get old enough to start drawing names, we'll add who gave it to who and why they chose it.  Last year, we found these cute little sock-style ornaments for the girls.  AB's was a frog, because she was really into whispering, "I though you was a toad." (from the movie O, Brother Where Art Thou?) and Lynns' was a monkey because she decided to be a little monkey and jump on the bed...only when she fell off she didn't bump her head, she broker her leg. 
  It's a great Christmas tradition, but it also has a bonus.  When our children are older and move out onto their own, they will have a great starter set of ornaments to begin their tree!  And they may continue this tradition or they may start their own...either is fine with me, as long as they remember that Christmas isn't about traditions. 
  Christmas is about Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. A very sweet idea, and I'm sure it makes decorating the tree just that much more fun every year -- all those memories. Love you all!