Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Marcy's Travel Blog- TRADITIONS!

Call me sentimental, but I LOVE all things Christmas! Traditions centered around this holiday bring out the "little kid" in me!

I have many friends who are not of the Christian faith. They have different traditions of their own, but happily enjoy many aspects of Christmas.

I am not a religious person, but can't see Christmas lights without humming "The First Noel"!  I love the music, the lights, the children's excitement, the decorations, and the gatherings!

I love the traditions, old and new!

One common holiday tradition, at least in the U.S.  is the special lights decorating the exterior of the home!

This is our decorations. I can't take credit for any of this! Son Steven and his family did the outdoor as well as indoor lights!

Another is the Christmas tree. Germany takes the credit for the tradition of Christmas trees, first started in the 16th century. Everyone has their own version of this custom. Some people choose to cut a tree themselves for this holiday. Others have a store bought artificial tree that they use year after year. But even in ancient time it was thought that the evergreen kept evil spirits and witches away.

I have a friend who gaged the size of her "tree" by the size of her dwelling. When she was in a college dorm she had a sprig of evergreen with two tiny bulbs on it. With her first little apartment, it was a small table top tree with little bulbs. After she was married and in her first home- a medium size live tree with both lights and bulbs. Now she has a large home, three children, and a two story entrance and a artificial tree over 7 feet tall.

Tree decorating is as personal as it is traditional! Son Steven and his family make an evening of family fun, each adding their own personal touches.

The grand kids had a ball choosing where decorations should go!

                              The "Tree Trimming" ceremony is pretty special in my family!

Some decorate in a manner that would make "House Beautiful" proud!

 Others sort of throw the ornaments at the tree and what sticks stays!

 People with small children often have as many "home made" decorations as they do store bought.

Daughter-in-law Mia orchestrated the decorations!

She had the knack of making the tree family friendly, yet beautiful!

This is a tree to be proud of! The kids all did a great job!

My son Steven, with grandson Evan and Payton (on the shoulders)

Now was time for the "Tree Top" ceremony!

The "tree top" is another personal tradition. No matter what one's religious (or lack of) affiliation, the two favorites seem to be either an angel or a star.

Granddaughter Payton placed the Star on the large Christmas tree this year. (with daddy's help, of course!) And then she said the "God Bless Us, Everyone"!

The Children's tree at the entrance holds the Angel tree top!

This ties in with the Christmas story- as does many of the other traditions and customs.

One nature lover I know of has white lights and beautiful ceramic or wooden birds as tree decorations. Being of a different faith, she still tops her tree with a beautiful star, made of pine cones and white lights.

One tradition I loved as a child is missing now. Rarely do I see the Nativity Scene. No matter my religious affiliation, I still loved the churches and town squares Nativity Scenes- with the "Holy Family", the animals, the three wise men, and the angels- all with a large star added at the top.

My family has their own traditions. Stockings hung by the fireplace for one. This is pretty common place. When my children were growing up we didn't have a fire place, but always found "somewhere" to hang stockings!

I think "Bailey's Irish Cream" on ice may be a new tradition! Yum!

Food is an important part of Christmas Traditions! I started a tradition of having a standing rib roast for Christmas dinner!

This year we will be having a Rib Roast on Christmas Eve. My daughter-in-law's family has a tradition of going out Christmas day for an evening meal of Chinese food! That may become a new tradition with me!

Some traditions revolve around the decorations. Steven's family have lit garland on their stairway each year.

This little drummer boy has been a family decoration since my children were toddlers!

Christmas gifts are, of course, a BIG part of Christmas! For the little ones in my family, there is an exchange of gifts, plus the magical "Santa" gifts! I'm all for "Santa"! I love the idea of a magical being dispersing gifts throughout the world, somehow knowing if you've been naughty or nice.

Granddaughter Payton dancing in front of the newly decorated tree.

So- the tree stands ready, as do the stockings. Perhaps we'll even make a tradition of leaving Santa a glass of "Bailey's", just to keep him warm on his travels!

Whatever your TRADITIONS, remember that you can make new ones to pass along as the spirit moves you!

My Christmas wish for all my readers is a Holiday filled with good company, laughter, friends and families reunited, and a letting go of the tensions that this time of year can bring.

So raise a glass of your favorite, wish each other well, and look at life through the eyes of the child in you, if only for a little while!


Marcy Padrta said...

And "God Bless Us, EVERYONE!" said...

I love reading your story of your family dressing the Christmas tree. I miss that part of family dressing the tree, as mine are all grown and I live so far away from them. I've not spent a Christmas with my Children, Grandchildren and Family since 2003. That was the year that my father was no longer with us. We had mother light a candle in his memory that burned during our evening get together. We had for several year burn a candle for those loved ones that had passed on that year. The family no longer gets together since my parents have passed away. Jim and I have a small tree decorated with miniature Hallmark Ornaments, other meaningful ornaments and a gold star on top and a Precious Moment Nativity scene under it. The Nativity scene was given to me by a my cousin Linda. We have a beautiful Christmas Wreath made by Thomas Kinkade. It one of my favorite pieces of art.
Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Hugs, Deanna

Marcy Padrta said...

Thank you for sharing, Deanna! Your memories and traditions are wonderful! It's difficult to be so far away from family during the holidays! I hope you can travel to Michigan one of these times! Merry Christmas!