The Gift of Christmas Traditions

by Andrea K. Clark

Can you believe Christmas is already upon us again?! I’m sure that most of you are already finished with your holiday shopping, and usually I would be too, but this year has been a little crazy for my family and I. We left on Thanksgiving night to fly out and go on a 7-night Caribbean cruise and didn’t get home until December 7th, so instead of feeling like I missed out on a week, I feel like it’s been a month since there is literally so much to do right before Christmas! But, even though our holiday season feels a little rushed this year, we are still finding time to do a few of our annual traditions.
K. Clark

I’m not one of those people who have a lot of traditions that they simply “must do” throughout the year, but at Christmastime, I do insist on keeping a few. I think that it is worth noting that I don’t cling to these traditions for my sake, but for my kids. I’m old enough to know that Christmas isn’t about all the traditions, but mainly about the time we spend with our family celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.
K. Clark

However, for children, Christmas is a magical time of year and a lot of it is due to the traditions they are accustomed to at this time of year. While my 6 year old has no problem acknowledging the fact that I’m “old,” I am not so old that I have forgotten the excitement I felt as a child each year in the days leading up to Christmas.
K. Clark

Of course, I was excited about the gifts I would find waiting for me on Christmas morning, but there were other traditions that I looked forward to as well. Here are a few of them: decorating the Christmas tree, baking holiday treats for our close friends, family and neighbors, attending the annual Christmas pageant at church and spending a week of Christmas break with my cousins who came every year from Alabama to visit. When I think back about my childhood Christmases, those are the memories that most often come to mind.
K. Clark

Now, as a mother, I want my children to be able to look back as adults and remember special holiday traditions that we did together as a family every year at Christmas. In my opinion, these cherished moments, that turn into memories, are some of the most valued (and priceless) gifts that we, as parents, can give to our children at the holidays.
K. Clark

What are your thoughts about the traditions surrounding Christmas? Do you and your family have special holiday traditions? What are they?

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