Posts Tagged ‘family’

How To Make Your Own Christmas Traditions

When we think about Christmas traditions we think about Charles Dickens. We see the cities and towns made out of the type of old-fashioned houses the replica’s of which we nowadays put in our Christmas town decorations.

3128276344_f984e04ccf We see candle light, families around the table, caroling perhaps.

And we long for a time that is… that was different. Easier? Simpler? Less cluttered?

It seems it was a time when what Christmas really was and how to celebrate it was clear.

Somehow what we do now can seem less real. Less authentic.

New Real Family Christmas Traditions

But making your own Christmas traditions, your own family Christmas traditions, isn’t about newfangled things and ideas. It isn’t about being modern and coming up with routines that aren’t rituals, rituals that aren’t traditions.

A tradition is that which we always used to do. It’s what you tell your kid when you start to say "When I was your age we always…"

Making new family Christmas traditions is about finding the most pleasant we always used to that you can.

Watching "Christmas Story" every Christmas season, all together on the couch with popcorn and cola: that can be a we always used to Christmas tradition.

Getting the first box of Christmas decorations out. Always that one and always the day after Thanksgiving. That can be what your daughter will carry over to the next generation; what she will remember from her Christmases and will show her children how to do.

Sitting together the first evening of the Christmas vacation, dad taking a moment for a short speech in which he welcomes everybody to the Christmas vacation. Or mom sitting down and telling everyone the same night story she used to tell around Christmas when we were all small.

From New to Old Christmas Traditions

What we see from back then? From Dickens? Those were new fangled modern nothings back then. Things happening but many of them not tradition yet.

Go ahead, make your own family Christmas traditions. Who knows which one of them will be what future generations long for?

What is Christmas Joy?

What is Christmas joy? Real Christmas joy?

It’s an easy to answer question if you’re not honest, a hard one if you are.

christmas tree with gifts There are things we’re supposed to say about Christmas joy. That Jesus is the reason for the season, for example. Or that real Christmas joy comes from giving, not from getting.

But honestly, those things aren’t part of my feeling of Christmas joy at all.

What Christmas Joy Is For Me

Christmas joy, for me, is a Season, a happening. An experience. It’s like a long story, a big book or a really good movie. And like the TV events of old we all used to talk about around the water cooler the next day, this is a huge shared experience.

It starts when December draws closer. The music comes, the decorations appear. It’s getting darker — and colder. Inside it’s warmer and cozier.

It’s here, inside, the Christmas joy experience takes place, mostly.

All the Christmas movies we watch, every evening another. With popcorn and diet cola because we save calories for later. Every week we take out another one of our Christmas boxes and put up some decorations; this way decorating for Christmas is relaxed and fun instead of stressful work.

On my computer’s desktop I have Christmas desktop wallpaper. Like the movies, usually another one every day. Oh, not that I have that many just for Christmas; I have some winter landscape ones too.

What thrills me is that we’re all in this together. And that isn’t about family or friends; it’s us as a country all together into Christmas.

Santa Claus Christms Music in the Mall Commercials, stores, store windows, music on the radio, people doing Christmas shopping, Christmas decorations appearing everywhere, everything Christmas themed. On TV popular series have the time in their make believe world synced to ours and we see them having Christmas. The Christmas classics appear.

For a couple of weeks we’re all one, sharing the same experience, living the same life. It’s not that I’m a dreamer but that experience, that us approaching Christmas thing … that’s what I point to when you ask me "what is Christmas joy?"

A Child’s Birthday Wish Becomes A Christmas Tradition

In 1995 new baby was born into the Dom family.

They named her Kendra Sue.

Unfortunately the celebration of her birth was dampened when they learned that baby Kendra suffered from a very rare heart defect.

Ken Desser finds will be on that couple of months was uncertain…

Visits to specialists at the University of Minnesota followed. Tests, medical procedures, more tests.

Finally as autumn came around an emotional team of doctors told the parents that was nothing more that they could do. They recommended to bring Kendra home and to prepare the best Christmas ever as it would likely be Kendra’s first and last.

In preparation for her coming home the parents talked with their three-year-old son Jacob. They tried as best as possible to explain how serious the situation was and that his sister would most likely die soon.

Did he understand? Comprehend?

When is October 24 birthday, when he would turn four, drew close they asked him what he wanted for his birthday.

“A Christmas tree… for Kendra…”

This year on October 24 the family put up the Christmas tree.

The celebrated Jacobs per se. Then Thanksgiving; being grateful for the time they had together. Then Christmas…

The day started to get longer again this winter passed

Every day was an unknown; they never knew if they would wake up to Kendra’s smile or…

“When I look back on those days I am amazed that we were able to make it through.

I am not sure how we did it.

I guess we did it because there was nothing else we could do”
— Cammie, Kendra’s mother

As she continued to go along and to gain strength Kendra started to undergo many surgeries.

When fall came around again and it was times for Jacobs fifth birthday it only seemed natural to put up another Christmas tree. They kept it up all the way through Kendra second Christmas, something everyone had hoped and prayed for but nobody thought would happen.

Their lives have been filled with unexpected miracles; the first birthday, second Christmas… and now the doctors told of one more possible miracle.

The University of Minnesota have developed a new procedure. It had never been tried before. But if it was successful it could save Kendra’s Life.

The only way to know was to try it….

Building on the faith that had already supported them all this time they decided to go through with it.

The experiment what goes to great success; Kendra has become the first person ever to survive her rare heart condition. Her success is part of ongoing research at the University and she regularly goes back for checkups.

Kendra and Jacob are now teenagers.

This October, as all the passed years, a Christmas tree was erected on Jacob’s birthday.

What was feared to be a one-time gesture has grown into a family’s Christmas tradition.