Thursday, December 9, 2010

Family Christmas Traditions













Christmas Traditions should be kept fun and simple.

To celebrate Christmas with my family each year, we bake several kinds of cookies. Every weekend, I make a different type. Last weekend it was chocolate chip. This coming weekend with be peanut butter. The weekend after that will probably be oatmeal raisin and rolled sugar cookies. I've always loved baking and I have a major sweet tooth, so doing these activities with my son is fun, relaxing, soothing, and delicious!

As the years go by, we'll probably add more to our Christmas traditions. For example, my son is now five, and this is the first year he's asked for a Christmas tree. I was raised in a religion that didn't allow Christmas celebrations, and as an adult, I've never felt compelled to purchase a tree for my home. My husband never really wanted a tree either. When we went shopping for a fake tree at Kmart last Saturday, I suddenly felt overwhelmed from the crowds, long lines, and tall trees - trees that I did not want to bring into my home. The trees just seemed so big to me! So, we rushed home and I ordered a small 4 1/2 foot tree online. The tree even comes with lights! The tree arrived in the mail yesterday, and we'll assemble it within the next few days. I'm sure this will become another yearly Christmas tradition in our home - putting up the tree!

What are your favorite family Christmas traditions? Do you add traditions as the years go by? As you get older, do you stop certain Christmas traditions?

Merry Christmas! :-)

~Cecelia Dowdy~

17 comments:

aarbaugh said...

Hey Cecelia! I'm with you on the cookies, only we do it a little differently. Last weekend, my sisters, Mom and I got together for our annual Cookie Day. Most of us spend the weekend there. This was the best one yet. We did "a few" cookies. Definition of "a few": 20 varieties and a total of 122 DOZEN cookies. We needed a calculator to keep track. It was worth every ounce. Have a wonderful Christmas.

Cheri Horgan said...

We have one tradition that has grown throughout the years whether we have or have not...and that is to do for others in some way. It takes away from our feelings of emptiness after the presents are opened, and distracts us from what we can't afford or don't have. Whether we have money or not we can always collect clothes for the homeless, or babysit for an overwhelmed mom. Thanks to some great discards at thrift shops we can always recycle a porceline doll (fix up her hair and clothes and clean her up) and give her to a young girl who has nothing coming from Santa. This year we have a real challenge ahead as we are attempting to collect a dressy outfit for some homeless and nearly homeless older people (complete with underwear and shoes)and providing the food for a candlelite dinner to tell them that Jesus thinks they are special and that He loves them when they feel all alone. A Messianic Jewish pastor is ministering to these people and he has nothing to give them, but God wants them all to know they are loved beyond their highest desires. I found a beauty colege willing to donate hair cuts and syles for each one, and I have been collecting "Sunday go to meeting/funeral/court/job hunting" outfits for everyone. I believe God wants to restore their self confidence and for at least one day they wont feel like a homeless addict on the streets...they will feel like the child of a King! My kids and I have been homeless, and have spent Christmas alone with nothing to unwrap or eat, so we get a blessing knowing we have helped someone avoid that despair. Each year we look forward to our project, and forget what we cannot afford to buy or receive. And we do it as workers for Jesus, not for recognition of any kind.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Hi, AAR! 122 DOZEN COOKIES??? According to my calculations, that's 1,464 cookies!!! You know, sometimes you can freeze cookies and cookie dough and they still taste fresh when you eat them. I usually don't do this, but others have mentioned this to me! Hope you have a wonderful Christmas, too!

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Cheri, that's so beautiful! Your tradition captures the true meaning of Christmas! I wish you well in your endeavors this year and it brings tears of joy to my eyes knowing that you're providing to the less fortunate during the holiday seasons!

Katy King said...

We always used to hear the Christmas Story, read from the Gospel of Luke by my dad, the night before Christmas. That was probably the closest thing to tradition we had, other than the big package of homemade brownies and Christmas cookies that would arrive from my grandmother in Port Arthur, Tx. We'd eat on those brownies for weeks!

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Katy, your Christmas traditions sound heartwarming and yummy!

Robin Bayne said...

This is really minor, but each year I put an upside down candy cane on each dinner plate (J for Jesus.)

Marianne Evans said...

Hi, Cecelia! I saw your blog notice on ACFW and had to chime in, because my most precious Christmas tradition is the making of my beloved Grandma DeCou's Christmas sugar cookies. Special story to go along with? I was making them last December 21st - with my husband and visiting children gathered around - when I was notified by White Rose Publishing that my contest entry for Hearts Crossing was the winner...I had broken into the genre of Christian Inspirational Romance! From there, a four book series emerged. Hearts Crossing, the winning entry, released on my Grandpa DeCou's birthday - 01/29/10...talk about a God thing!! Such a cherished memory, to go along with such a cherished tradition. My kids refuse to let me make them until they're around to help cut and decorate with my Grandma's old, metal Christmas cutters. :-) Great post, and God bless!

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Hi, Robin! What a cool, and thoughtful tradition! More people should do that! Marianne, that's an awesome story! Definitely a God thing! Care to share the sugar cookie recipe with us?

aarbaugh said...

CD: Yes. I freeze a bunch in December. Then, when I'm tired of winter, I open up a few at a time. Usually in mid-February. I remember how good they are and how much fun we had baking them.

LoRee Peery said...

The one that has stayed is going to church on Christmas Eve. Oyster stew is another. At least until a son-in-law and one son said they didn't really like it. So now each family makes different soups; my contribution is broccoli cheese. I enjoy watching my daughters establish new traditions with their daughters. Merry Christmas, everyone!

Jean C. Gordon said...

My family has a tradition of celebrating "Little Christmas," the Epiphany. My dad always made fried donuts with coins inside, and I do the same.

Marianne Evans said...

Cecelia, I can go you one better than the recipe - I'll give you that recipe, plus a bunch of other great holiday treats, courtesy of my publisher, White Rose Publishing! The authors of WRP have contributed to a FREE Christmas recipe book you can download directly from the website: www.whiterosepublishing.com Pay a visit, download, and ENJOY!!

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Loree, sounds yummy! I think if I had to pick a Christmas soup, it would be corn chowder or cream of crab! Jean, those donuts sound good, too, but I'd be worried about biting down on a hard coin while eating that tasty donut! Marianne, I plan on going to that link and downloading the cookbook! I'm sure the recipes are simply scrumptious! :-)

Debby Lee said...

Hi Cecelia. There are so many traditions at Christmas. It's hard to think of just one, but I'm going with the one kept by my family for generations. Every year on Christmas Eve, we have all gotten together for dinner and a gift exchange. From what I hear, it all started with my great-grandparents in 1913. It's gotten so big we have to rent a hall to hold everybody. In the year 2013, the tradition will be 100 years old. There's going to be a big hoopteedo and I'm really excited about it. Thanks for the chance to post, hope all is well with you and yours.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Debby Lee, that's so amazing! A family Christmas tradition that's about to turn 100 years old! It sounds like this event really promotes unity within your family which is a really neat blessing!

Teresa Slack said...

Love reading all the posts. I've heard of a lot of ppl doing the cookie baking thing this year. I would gain 10 pounds by the time the weekend was over. I have to sample each pan when they come out of the oven.

Thanks for sharing, esp the giving ones. It's important to teach the younger generation the meaning of giving.