Traditions...you gotta love them. They help connect our memories from year to year, create bonds among family and friends, and teach us about what is truly valuable.
I love the short-lived tradition my best friend, Christine, and I made over the Christmas breaks during our college years. We would get together and make ornaments. Some of them made of glass balls and dough still hang on my tree. As I show them to Graham and we talk about each one, I remember her sweet friendship and our precious times together.
I also have some ornaments hanging on my tree that my parents gave me when I was a child. We had the tradition of recieving a new ornament every year, and my mom passed along those ornaments to me when I became an adult. Seeing the little brass angel with its dangling bell or the white ceramic bear with the red bow bring up some tender memories of when I was a little girl.
I remember the tradition my brother created with me when we were little. Every Christmas morning long before anyone else was awake, he would sneak in my room and wake me up so we could go see the goodies waiting for us by the tree.
Tim and I are trying to create traditions with our children in hopes that someday they will look back and smile on the ways they celebrated Christmas as children. Some of them are simple and fun like making ornaments to give to family. Some of them will hopefully show love to others like baking treats to pass out to our neighbors. And some of them, the most treasured, will help to remind us of the truths of Christmas. They will center us around the manager and cause our hearts to adore the Savior.
I love the tradition of the Jesus birthday cake Tim and his sister had in their house growing up, so now we bake a cake for Jesus with our children every year. Another special tradition is the Jesse Advent tree. A few years ago, I got together with some ladies in my church to make ornament for the Jesse tree. The 25 ornaments represent different prophecies written about in the Old Testament that foresee the coming of the Christ. Every night, the boys are excited to find out which ornament we will hang on the little Jesse tree. They might not understand all of it now, but in years to come, I hope it will become an important tradition to them.
I would love to hear some of the traditions you had as a child or ones you are now creating as an adult.