My Mother's Christmas Traditions

 Sisters

Many of you would like to know what kind of family traditions we do for Christmas.  Because I have had a huge growth of followers since last Christmas(thanks to you all!), I thought I would repost this for you.  

Every year around Christmas, my extended family gathers together from near and far to spend a wonderful few days together.  I am blessed to have a mother who is responsible for this.  I am blessed to even have a smidgen of her creativity.  She has birthed a few wonderful traditions, unique in their own way, that I hope to pass on to my children and grandchildren.

I would like to share some of these with you.  Maybe you can start a similar tradition of your own!

We used to gather at my parents large house with acreage.  Because of their age and the tremendous upkeep, they moved into a condominium.  They now provide hotel rooms for us, and invite us all over to their house in the evenings.

Usually, on the first evening, we share the Nativity Story.  My mother decided to make this a little different and more special by picking one grandchild (from oldest to youngest) to share the Christmas story.  That child and his or her parents could choose how they wanted to share it.  Some would bring in felt Bible characters and talk through the story using these as illustrations.  Others would draw their own props, while the older ones would read a good storybook on Jesus' birth, or read straight from the Bible.


It is a good way to refocus, little minds especially, on the true meaning of Christmas.

Once the Christmas story is shared, we then have a special tribute to any of the grandchildren that turned 13 that year.  Now, this doesn't happen every year, but as large as our extended family is, it happens quite a bit!

The 13 year old is put on the spotlight for moving into manhood or womanhood.  My parents always give them a more expensive and memorable gift for that year.  Then, others are encouraged to share any stories or blessings that they have written down, to uplift the young man or lady.  Obviously, I like to add a little humor as seen below!


 What a wonderful way to encourage young people into adulthood!

Throughout the year, my mother will buy certain items that she thinks the sisters and older granddaughters would like.  All of these gifts get thrown into what is called the Goodie Bag.  She will pick a time and hotel room to lay out all of these "goodies", and then her daughters and granddaughters ages 13 and above take turns picking out an item.


Sometimes we will draw numbers to see who picks first, sometimes she will decide for us who goes first.


Older granddaughters

I usually get a beautiful skirt or two and some other wonderful goodies.  It differs every year!  But I always look forward to seeing what she has for that year!  Another wonderful and creative idea that I will pass on to my daughters and granddaughters!

 After our Goodie Bag pickin' fun


Mom has always made it a special time when we all get together.  She loves us and our children dearly and wants so much for our gatherings to be memorable ones!  We always look forward to this time! 



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4 comments:

  1. Loved reading about these special traditions. Now that some of my children are married with families of their own, I'm struggling to find the right balance for celebrating. Financially, it's just too hard to do something for everyone and I'm feeling more pressure and stress. Hopefully, inspiration will come and fix everything one of these yesars :)

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  2. Susie, I remember your mother well! And I remember the wonderful home on the acreage you mentioned! We were there that year of the ice storm where it took me almost 10 1/2 hours to get home!! This is a precious post and spoke to my heart, giving me some ideas on how to prepare for our someday grandchildren!! I love some of those young gals in the pictures, and it is wonderful to see all your family! BTW, I just viewed the 'How to make goat milk soap video trailer! I will pray that it is a big success as you introduce it for sales!! You have such great ideas!

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  3. Hi,

    It all sounds like so much fun - family is truly a blessing!

    I love that Goodie Bag idea.

    I saw your link on Raising Homemakers. I also am linked up there.

    ~Hope

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  4. Thank you for sharing your traditions. They are great ideas. It is always fun to hear others stories. One of our family's traditions is on Christmas Eve after the church service, we'd come back and eat Vegetable Cheese Chowder and deli meat sandwiches. The dessert goodies would differ each year, but we've all enjoyed this. Even if I am not able to get with my family on Christmas, my mother-n-law is happy to carry on the tradition and for that I've been thankful.

    My children and I enjoy reading from Lisa Whelchel's "ADVENTure in Christmas" book each year. And then my husband has bought me a new Christmas book each year and the kids and I enjoy reading those. Sometimes we just pick them and other times we number then.

    The last thing I want to share is that we usually put a Christmas puzzle together. That has always been fun and special -- it can be the same large puzzle each year or a new one. Doesn't matter, we just enjoy that time together.

    Merry Christmas! Thanks again for sharing what your family does.
    -Nancy

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I would love to hear from you! Your sweet comments are always appreciated!

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