Traditions

With Christmas just a few weeks away, I have begun to think about some of our holiday traditions. One very special tradition is going to church on Christmas Eve to sing Christmas Carols and light candles. Gathering with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Jesus is always a joyous time that brings us all closer together.

When our children were young and still living at home, we had the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree as a family. Once the boxes of decorations had been gotten out, and my husband hung the lights on the tree, we, along with our two children, would hang ornaments, garland, and tinsel on the branches. Then we’d turn off the lights in the room and sit back to enjoy the colorful lighted tree.

Now that are son and daughter are older and have families of their own, my husband and I decorate our home together. This gives us a time of togetherness which we both enjoy.

What special family traditions do you have during the Christmas season?

Comments

  1. Molly Loggins says

    My husband and I have a two year old son. I guess you could say we are starting traditions with him. The three of us began decorating our Christmas tree this evening. My husband and son also hung some lights together outside. My son loves to be a helper!

    • Sheilla A. Coplin says

      When our children were young, we always decorated the tree together as a family. I can recall playing Andy Williams’ Christmas music or Manheim Steamroller tunes as we decorated together. I always made waffles on Christmas Eve morning, for breakfast.Then we would gather the children, and pack the car with our gifts for my husbands’ family and ours, and travel about 10-15 minutes to spend the rest of Christmas Eve and Christmas day with his family. We awoke on Christmas morning and shared the day with our families together. How I miss those Christmas memories, as my husband’s parents have both passed on. Our children are grown, and have families of their own. While we still get together, we all agree that today’s gatherings are much different than those in the past.

  2. Vivian Furbay says

    When my kids were young we used to bake cookies for Christmas, read the Christmas story from Luke on Christmas eve, and gather with family on Christmas day. We still gather at my daughter’s home for a potluck meal and exchange gifts.

  3. Martha Peace says

    I love your books,I always visit my family at Christmas, Thanks for a change to win

  4. Martha Stover says

    I agree that decorating the Christmas tree with other family members is a wonderful tradition.

  5. Peggy J Moncus says

    This will be our first Christmas without my daddy this year, he passed away June 15th at the age of 92. We always get together at my sister’s house to spend the day. we give gifts to the younger children, the oldest being 25 the youngest being 17. We sit around talking, laughing, and playing games. I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed one.

  6. nancy watts says

    We wait till we can all be together to decorate our tree. It is getting harder to do that now that both of our kids are out of the house and have a spouse. But I’m hoping to always be able to.

  7. Our tradition was to go to the church in another town where our daughter and son-in-law are members to see and hear our daughter sing in the Christmas cantata. Although we seldom missed services in our local church where we were active members and participants, it was an exception we made every year. My husband died many years ago, but I still continue this tradition.

  8. One of the traditions I remember was my mom making a Christmas ornament for us every year. She would write the date on the ornament. She no longer does this, but I still have all the ornaments she made me over the years.

  9. Jennifer Short says

    I have 2 sons, one is 22 and has a family, and one is 9 (almost 10, if you ask him) and we decorate outside, and then we start on the inside.. looks like a tornado came through for a while, but once we are finished, it is awesome… then we start out baking and celebrating, with family!! <3

  10. Tracy L Smith says

    We always decorated the tree with our children when they were home but since they are both married now, it is just the hubby and I. I am hoping that we can still be festive with just the two of us at home!!

  11. Jennifer Decker says

    There is a local park, as well as a local botanical garden that decorate beautifully for Christmas. We always make the time to walk around both of them. When we stay in town, my daughter is in the Christmas Eve service at church. However if we go to visit my parents, we always look forward to enjoying the Christmas Eve service at their church. Just pajamas get opened on Christmas Eve and after the service we always have Oyster Stew and French Onion Soup. We play games and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

  12. For many years we decorated inside and outside. Now we are both getting to old to drag out all
    the decorations. So we just put up a small tree on a table. We have no children of our own, but
    have a niece and her family and a nephew that come by. At this time we are unable to take in
    the things at church.

  13. Kay Sasser says

    We started years ago having Christmas at my mom’s house on Christmas Eve. We really enjoy it every year.

  14. My favorite Christmas was when we had a big snow storm and the electric went out. We all had sandwiches and visited talked, and played games. No TV was on. It was my favorite of all time Christmas! We try to do that every year now. Thank you, and God Bless, Amy

  15. Kathy Rowe says

    When the kids were little, we’d bake Christmas cookies and decorate the tree. It was tradition that the kids would go out with their grandpa and cut down a tree each year. The kids would decorate not only our tree, but grandpa and grandma’s tree also. Of course, hot cocoa and cookies were served afterward. Such great memories and talked about and remembered each year and missing grandpa and grandma so much, but know they are watching from above.

  16. Shirley Chapel says

    Well my family is all grown and out of the nest now. Both my daughter and step son have their own homes and their own traditions. One tradition we’ve always had is the family meal or feast on Christmas day. I did it for many years until we downsized and moved to a senior apartment. Now my daughter has taken this tradition on each Thanksgiving and Christmas. We still get together every year. It might not be on Christmas day but on a day when everyone can be there. We we all saying that if it hadn’t been for grandpa and grandma meeting each other at my place of employment in Ontario Canada than everyone wouldn’t be there. Family humor not at all unlike the question of what is a real butter knife? Traditional conversation over the holiday meals. LOL!!

  17. NancyB from Many LA says

    WE don’t really do anything anymore. Our kids are grown and scattered, we just mail presents and/or cash…

  18. Elsie FitzPatrick says

    We live many miles away from family and old friends.
    We join in on the Christmas Dinner for seniors that have no family to have Christmas with, that our Golden Age Center has put on the last ten years since we have moved up to our town
    Nice quiet town wonderful scenery no matter what window we look out God is good,
    We have everything a small town can want stores, post office, restaurants, churches, Rec Centre, Library, Hospital, Friends coffee shop, and the Golden Age Center, etc.

  19. Eleanor Davis says

    When children were young, we would all have a Christmas breakfast then read the Christmas story before opening our gifts. Now we go south for the winter and are not with family for Christmas.
    Miss the old days but cherish the memories.

  20. Sarah Stewart says

    For many years, we would put up a tree and decorate it. I would put out our manager scene, which would be the first thing out, along with hanging the stockings. We don’t do all of that any more, due to not having the room. We do still do the manager scene and read a chapter of Luke nightly up until Christmas and sing carols.

  21. I enjoy putting up my large Nativity set; I have others that up year ’round; I enjoy Christmas Day w/ my adult children and 5 grandsons, who are 15½, 12, 3½, 1½ 7 12 months! Having young children to celebrate the Birth of Christ makes Christmas even more meaningful!

  22. Susan Abbott says

    During childhood Christmases, my mom made penuche fudge for my dad’s family, as well as for friends. Every year at least one batch was not done correctly, overcooked, falling apart, etc. My poor dad got all the bad batches. Not sure that man ever. had a good batch of fudge!

  23. Megann Zeigler says

    All of our family is gone and since we never had children my husband cooks a fabulous meal (Which we eat for days and days) and we choose one item that we would like to buy for the year. Last year it was a large screen television for our room and this year we are thinking of a Temperpedic (sp) mattress. We really don’t need anything and are in the process of downsizing the house. We call distant relatives to say hi and just enjoy a quiet day. My husband does make fruitcake which is delicious as well and panatone bread. Hope everyone has a much blessed Christmas with the joy of Christs birth being the heart of the traditions you celebrate…

  24. Melody K Jones says

    Reading Scripture around the table is my favorite tradition. Sometimes I wish all the other elements of the Christmas holiday would disappear. We still participate in too many Christmas activities, but I do long for the quiet, reflective times spent singing, praying and scripture reading.

  25. We always by a live tree that reaches the ceiling.
    Joan

  26. We always buy a live tree that reaches the ceiling.
    Joan

  27. When I was a little girl I would help my mom make chocolate and peanut butter fudge and peanut clusters for Christmas treats. We don’t make candy much not, but still enjoy decorating the tree with red, silver, and gingerbread ornaments. We also spend Christmas with my brother and his family.

  28. Mauvelene McCoy says

    I have started reading in the book of Luke. One chapter a day leading up to Christmas day.

  29. I started reading your books 5 months ago. This is the first time i have read this many books in my 68 years of my life. I have read 13 of your books so far. I just started The Christmas Quilt Series. I grew up in a small fishing town in Maine. We Celebrate our Christmas Together now in the South.I really miss the snow. I hope you all Have a Merry Christmas.God Bless

  30. Betty June Moore says

    This is the 90th year that my husband and I will celebrate the birthday of Jesus. A nativity is always on display because that is the “reason for the Season”. Our five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren loves Grandma’s peanut butter and chocolate fudge, so I make plenty to go around.

  31. Betty June Moore says

    This is the 90th year that my husband I will celebrate the birthday of Jesus. A nativity is already on display in our home because that is the “reason for the Season”. Our two children, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren loves Grandma’s peanut butter and chocolate fudges, so I try to make plenty to go around.

  32. Tina Tolley says

    I love the season of Advent. I strive to make every church service during Advent. I always feel closer to Jesus at this time. One of our traditions as a family is to open one gift on Christmas Eve (usually some Christmas Pajamas). Another tradition is to go to Candlelight services. I like to go to my home church for the 5 o’clock service and then go to a bigger church for the 11 pm service. We like to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus at midnight when service is over. I LOVE IT!!

  33. My husband puts the tree up and if we aren’t using our pre lit tree, he puts the lights on. Then I put the garland and ornaments on. I always make People Puppy Chow and he makes his Chex mix. I usually make my mini banana breads at this time, too. Christmas Eve we go to church then we, along with our son, go out for supper. We come home and open gifts. We TRY to stay up till midnight. But as we get older it gets harder! 🙂 Christmas we get up whenever and then either do a turkey or a brisket for dinner. It’s a lazy kind of day for us.

  34. I love each and every book you have written. December is a hard month for us. We had two significant deaths in our families in December so we celebrate the birth of Christ and the rest is low keyed. I would love to win a copy of this book. Looking forward to reading it. Thank you for the opportunity to win. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  35. Allison Schalck says

    We write out and send our Christmas cards shortly after Advent begins. Then we put up the tree together as a family. On December 6th, the Feast of St. Nicholas, we put out stockings for smaller presents. We’ve begun a newer tradition of making homemade goodies for neighbors, friends at church as well as family before the season begins. On Christmas Eve, after mass, we have a meatless dinner with the tradition of sharing Oplatki and our prayers and wishes for friends and family. Christmas Day we celebrate the opening of the season with a bigger meal and more presents. The season is spent passing out those home made goodies, sharing our time and love with others as we celebrate Jesus’ coming.The tree is left up until sometime between the Epiphany and Candlemas, the end of the season.

  36. Margaret Domer says

    My family celebrates Christmas on Christmas eve. Due my girls go to there boyfriend family on Christmas day. I love watching the the small kids unwrap there gifts and watch there face light up. I have 4 grandchildren and they cant wait to tell what they want from Santa claus.

  37. Family traditions include reading the Christmas story from the Bible and eating White Christmas Pie.

  38. Debbie Benzi says

    In the weeks before Christmas, I bake quite a few different cookies. My husband and I decorate the house. We gather together with our daughter and her husband and their three children for Christmas Eve dinner at our house . After dinner, the oldest granddaughter reads “The Night Before Christmas.” We go to their house on Christmas day for dinner and to exchange gifts.

  39. Kathy Faul says

    The first ornament on our tree every year is an old ornament from my dad’s childhood (Dad went home to Jesus nearly 35 years ago). It is always front and center on the tree. Now that our boys are grown with their families, we all celebrate Christmas together on Christmas Eve. Big meal, exchange of gifts, game playing.

  40. Hazel Iverson says

    Our past and present Christmas traditions. Our children and us decorated the christmas tree and sang Christmas carols as we decorated and drank hot cocoa afterwards. When we had grandchildren we did this same tradition. Now my husband and I decorate together and definitely have to sit and rest after decorating I still have cocoa afterwards but use the instant kind.
    Christmas eve we always went to church with family. Now with family away my husband and I go to church Christmas eve and sing and hear the Christmas story of our Lord Jesus birth as written in Luke in the Bible. Christmas day we have Christmas dinner with our family that live closer to us and exchange gifts.

  41. We always fill stockings with little trinkets and odd and ends.
    Marion

  42. We fill a big Santa Claus bag with fun gift for all.
    Marilyn

  43. When our five daughters were younger we played a game of counting the houses or yards that had Christmas lights as we travelled to relative’s homes for Christmas get-togethers. The kids on the right side of the car got the lights on the right side & the kids on the left counted the lights on the left. They would usually make it to around 100 to 125 before they quit counting. They still enjoy picking out the food for Christmas Eve & Christmas Day and I enjoy preparing it!

  44. Tammy Ross says

    I cross stitched stockings for my three boys who are now 32, 30 and 27. We still hang and fill those stockings as well as stockings for the daughters-in-law and our two precious granddaughters. We eat way to many sweets and enjoy playing games and laughing together. The boys live three different states and we live in a different one yet so we are grateful that we can get together a couple times each year.

  45. We enjoy family gatherings, time home with our family, Sunday School program at church, and our much needed break from school! Also, lots of fresh home baked goods!

  46. Debra Patton says

    Our traditions include cutting our own tree and attending Christmas Eve service at our church.

  47. Gail Benoit says

    My Grandchildren help decorate the tree and put out the decorations, At 76 I can’t do it without them, We have out big meal on and gift exchange as the Grandchildren go to their Father’s on Christmas Day

  48. Adrienne Davis says

    We don’t really have a tradition when it comes to putting up the tree or decorating the house. Ever since my son was little, however, we’ve opened 1 present on Christmas Eve and save the rest for Christmas Day. One year, finances were extremely tight so we made it a “homemade gift” Christmas. It was really nice to have something made from the heart.

  49. Tami Raymond says

    Because my birthday is at the beginning of December, we usually wait until the weekend after my birthday to decorate our tree. We all pile in the van and head to a local tree farm, where we hike through their woods until we can all agree on the perfect tree. There is always a pot of chili waiting on the stove for us to enjoy after the tree is decorated. After supper, the Christmas movie marathon begins. We watch a different Christmas movie every evening until Christmas Eve. That evening we worship at our church with a beautiful candlelight service. Christmas day begins with presents and is spent enjoying time with extended family.

  50. While growing up, my 3 siblings and I would bake and decorate sugar cookies, some to eat and some to hang on the “kids” tree. This tradition went by the wayside until there were young ones around again. More recently, as the next generation grew older, we changed from cookies to making and decorating a large Santa face out of bread dough. The laughs and camaraderie and memories are priceless!

  51. Fannie Wiggins says

    When my children were small and my husband was still here we spent Christmas Eve with my family. After opening presents, we went to my husband ‘s mother’s for breakfast and more gifts. We ate out Christmas dinner later in the day. I have been on my own for 29 years only having my children able to be here rarely. My daughter loved in California for 6 years and then in Japan for 3 years. It was hard for them to travel with small children and her husband being in the military. My son always has to work as he is a paramedic. So for many years there have been no traditions followed. I don’t expect this year to be any different. I am not crying about it. I love my family and know that they are building their own traditions. Life is what it is.

  52. Floella Spells says

    With so many of my family members who have went to their Heavenly Home or who have moved away, we are not able to be together much during the holidays. I am right now home bound getting ready to have surgery on my hip hoping that i can get around better. I miss the family gatherings like we used to do. I am thankful that i can enjoy the memories from past holidays.

  53. Sheilla A. Coplin says

    When our children were young, we read the Christmas story to them, from the book of Luke. We decorated the Christmas tree together, while enjoying Christmas songs sung Andy Williams or played by Manheim Steamroller. Every Christmas eve, I would prepare waffles for breakfast. Then, we’d pack up the car, and load up the gifts for our family, as well as my husband’s family. They lived about 15 minutes away. Once we arrived, we’d stay with them until late on Christmas Day. We’d enjoy visiting with them, and my husband’s sister and her family.
    Today, our gatherings are much different. My husband’s parents have passed on, and our children have all grown, with families of their own.
    I still make waffles for my husband and I on Christmas eve. We still enjoy reading the Christmas story in Luke.

  54. Sarah M. Arnold says

    I love decorating my Christmas tree with my children.

  55. Stephanie H. says

    Our Christmas traditions have changed many times over the years. For the last few years we’ve celebrated Christmas Eve by getting Oriental food takeout for dinner and staying home to play games or watch movies together. On Christmas day, we open presents, have a homemade dinner, and enjoy each other’s company.

  56. Amanda Peters says

    We attend family gatherings! Play games and open gifts! There’s always a Christmas program that our church creates with the Sunday school classes where the children memorize verses and recite them!

  57. Shelia Lanning says

    We always love good around looking at lights with the family on Christmas eve, how we take our grandbabies to see lights . We have Christmas at our house on Christmas eve then load the car to go see lights .

  58. In my family, our traditions will never be the same. This used to be my best time, but now it’s not so much. I don’t have my parents, and my nephews passed away in the prime of life. We have so many missing links in our family, and this is the time our emptiness grows. While, I do try to be happy for my grown kids, and grandchildren, and now my great-grands. Its still very very difficult. No doubt, I know that I am blessed everyday the Lord allows me to see. I am grateful and do not take it for granted. So, I hope everyone have a safe and Merry Christmas! God bless you, and love to the world! I pray that your heart is filled with joy!!! Make good memories. AMEN!

  59. We love our old German Christmas traditions. Even though we have been in America for 62 years, we have held onto most of them! However, there is one tradition we had to “leave behind”. That was the custom of using actual candles on the Christmas tree. We actually did this for the first few years in America, until the neighbors that came to visit were shocked and wondered why our house hadn’t burned down. Well, that was soon changed to electric lights, but I won’t forget how pretty those candles glowing on the tree looked!

  60. We all go to my parents Christmas Eve for dinner, presents and church later in the evening. The evening consists of family and friends. Christmas Day we spends in our own home having our own Christmas then as it gets darker we take my in-laws on a road trip to see Christmas tree light. My husband and I have been married 35 1/2 years and every Christmas night we along with our kids would riding around looking at Christmas lights.

  61. Stacie Chase says

    My husband and I decorate every year.I also do some baking. This year like previous years we will go to the Christmas Eve service at our church. Merry Christmas.

  62. Linda Critcher says

    Since our granddaughter came along 17 years ago, I began a special tradition. For years I have baked (circle) brownies as she would call them. They are actually Brownies baked in mini muffin pans. I then would insert one candle (the one used from our son’s very first birthday cake in 1972) into one single little brownie. We then lit the candle, and sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and blew it out. Also there would be one small gift to unwrap first before any others. That gift would be the baby Jesus from the manger scene. We always described Him (Jesus) as the very FIRST gift of Christmas, a child given by God to us. Since that tradition began we were blessed with one more grandchild, a grandson. I treasure this tradition.

  63. Kathleen L Rinck says

    When our two sons were little, they’d get in their pajamas and come into the living room where the only lights were from the newly decorated Christmas tree. They loved standing in front of the tree practicing their lines and singing songs for the upcoming church Christmas children’s program

  64. Sylvia Espe says

    Christmas Eve in my growing-up hears was always special. We children planned a program – one read from Luke 2, another sang a Christmas carol and each of us repeated the recitations that we had to present at our School’s Christmas program. Father passed out the gifts – and how thrilled we were to receive them (We had picked them out from the Eaton’s catalog that was now a bit tattered from frequent use!) Mother’s role was to serve us the best Christmas Eve supper which included lefsa and various Norwegian goodies that were special to us. This was the evening that Father helped with washing the dishes. Awesome memories that linger longingly with me!

  65. We have a nice meal and then watch a holiday movie. Later- we exchange gifts and munch on leftovers.

  66. Heidi Story says

    With my 4 children, we would attend Christmas Eve services, then read Twas the Night Before Christmas and leave cookies and milk for Santa. Now as grandparents we love having our children and grandchildren in church with us. It does my heart good to share a candlelight service with the little ones.

  67. Kimberly Fuqua says

    Now that Im a grandma, I read the book of Luke. 1 chapter a day to my grandsons. my children decorating the tree together with Christmas carols in the background is my favorite tradition before this. I love to look at the tree surrounded by gifts , lights twinkling in the Christmas morning before the kids wake up. It seems to reflect the lovely promise that is so like Jesus beautiful promise to us.

  68. Betty J Monda says

    We as a family always read the birth of Christ from Luke 2 and then my husband asks a blessing on our family and our lives. I have one child and now have two grandchildren and my granddaughter has read the Christmas Story the last two years. It is a time where we forget everything but the birth of our Savior. When my son was younger, we decorated the tree together and we laughed and we sang Christmas carols while doing it. For my grandchildren from the year they were born I always bought an ornament for them to give to them when they moved out on their own or was married. As they grew I tried to get an ornament that represented something they were interested in or involved in that year.

  69. Renee Williams says

    We enjoy looking at Christmas lights, gathering with family, baking, and most importantly celebrating Jesus’ birth. One tradition we have is opening one present on Christmas Eve…it’s always pajamas (they don’t necessarily match, but we all have new pajamas to open presents in)!

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