Today I thought of the green felt wall hanging with 25 numbered pockets from my childhood. I don’t remember, was it a Santa picture appliqued on, or a Christmas tree? What I do remember is each day removing a candy cane from a pocket, until all were gone on Christmas Day. What a wonderful childhood memory. My mother also made an advent wreath when we were small. I remember lighting the purple candles each week with my brothers and sisters, reading an advent scripture, and anticipating the day we would light the white candle. I am so thankful my mother took time to make memories for us.
With my own children I made a tradition of letting them open one package on Christmas eve and it always contained new pj’s. Made for great photos on Christmas morning. But the best Christmas tradition that our family has is that of Baby Jesus. When clearing out my grandmothers home I found a ceramic Baby Jesus in the manger. He’d never been painted, so I took him home and painted him. And each year as we decorated the Christmas tree we would place Baby Jesus under the tree, front and center. All through the Christmas season, as the tree became piled with gifts, Baby Jesus held the center spot. Looking at our tree, you knew the reason for the season. As my girls grew up and left home I was lucky enough to find the exact same mold in a ceramic shop, I had three poured, painted again, and each daughter has their own Baby Jesus.
I watched Bella this year, at 3, do the very important job of putting Baby Jesus under her tree. How perfect.
If you get a chance, find a Baby Jesus for under your tree. Even a doll wrapped in swaddling cloths will make the point. And you can begin a Christmas tradition that will last for generations.
What are your family Christmas traditions? And how do you keep ‘Christ’ in Christmas?