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One Family's Christmas Traditions

Nov 7, 2007
"You better watch out, you better not pout. You better not cry, I am telling you why". That's a favorite song for children everywhere because "Santa Claus is coming to town". It is a great way to motivate good behavior in children when they are very energetic and excited about holiday decorations and surprises. In our house, that song meant Santa was bringing things that we dreamed about, if we were good.

Like most families, our family also celebrated the holidays in both the traditional Christian and secular ways. My excitement would start to build when my parents first began to decorate our home by getting out the Christmas decorations and stuff. The first thing we put up was a window decoration of Santa and his sleigh that sat on the window ledge. Assembling the set with red string to connect reindeer meant Christmas. We decorated the windows with stencils and spray snow' to make "wintry scenes". Dad would get a real tree and we used lights, ornaments, silver garland with a star on top. Another tradition was hanging stockings for Santa. We would get apples, oranges, nuts, and hard candy in our stocking and wondered "how did Santa get in without a fireplace". We were told it was 'magic'!

One of the tastiest, best, and my favorite traditions was helping Mother decorate sugar cookies. I remember her using a silver cylinder that she would fill with cookie dough and press out perfect sugar cookies. She could even change the tips and go from stars to snowmen, angels and other shapes. It was so much fun to be given the responsibility of decorating cookies with icing and sprinkles.

Another tradition we had was putting food out for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. Our parents would read the "T'was the night before Christmas" and then say we had to go" right to sleep or Santa would pass over our house if we were still awake". By then, we were so excited that we couldn't even think about sleep, but of course, it was off to bed for me and my three brothers. While we were trying to go to sleep, we would hear jingle bells outside and the excitement would get really intense. It was very hard to keep your eyes closed and go right to sleep when you are that excited. But sometime later, daylight appeared and we would run to see what Santa had brought us. It was always so cool that Santa had eaten the cookies and most of the carrots were gone!

Traditions are what make memories. It is fun to follow the same traditions as growing up and adding even more. Spending Christmas Day with our parents and playing with our new toys and wearing our new clothes made it a day to remember. Some time during the day, our Mother would prepare a Holiday dinner and we'd give thanks and enjoy a full Christmas meal. Traditions, family and memories are the best things that we can give our children.
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