Article by Connie Limon
In this article read about some of the ways families across America celebrate Christmas.
Christmas tradition #1:
* Purchase music from the great English cathedrals. Gather stories about the Salisbury and Worchester Cathedral of England. As you play your music during the holidays tell your family the stories of how the great organs played in these Cathedrals and the choirs sang during the Christmas holiday celebrations
Christmas tradition #2:
* Set aside time to do some special holiday baking. Involve the entire family in the process. Package up your goodies to give to family, friends and neighbors as they visit and deliver their presents to you. Allow your children to give out the gifts of home baked goods.* Fruitcakes, homemade chocolate chip cookies are staples of Christmas baking. Continue to create your own line of baked goods each year
Christmas tradition #3:* As you start your baking traditions, gather your stories of the true meaning of Christmas and encourage your children to pass these stories to their children and on and on through each generation after you. All the while you are sifting; stirring, baking and preparing the gift packages tell the stories to your children and other family members.
Christmas tradition #4:
* As the season unfolds, read or purchase audio tapes of the Christmas story and the Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, or any other favorite Christmas story. Decorate the house and put up the tree as your stories in the background play.* Be an example by keeping a spirit of generosity, peacemaking and hospitality throughout the Christmas season* Keep in mind and in your story telling the incarnation, the moment of when God became one of us to share our everyday experiences as we do, and that Christmas is the time we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ.
Christmas tradition #5:
* Purchase a nativity scene and have this set up in a prominent place in your home* Each time a child is born into your family, purchase another figurine to add to the scene and display these each year. Your figurines can be anything you desire to represent each new person born into your family. When in-laws are added, add a figurine to your nativity scene.
Christmas tradition #6:
* Celebrate Christmas Eve with your parents, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and so on.* Have an open house on Christmas Day for anyone with nowhere else to go and present a gift or home made baked gift and dinner to those who may otherwise have no Christmas at all.* You may want to organize a rotation with your neighborhood for the big open house Christmas party each year.
Christmas tradition #7:
* Dress up your kids in costumes like Mary and Joseph and go door to door, asking if they can come in to sing Christmas songs or deliver baked goods.
These are just some of the ways we can participate in the joy and hope of the Christmas season. Through our traditions we teach our children a small lesson in life of why Christ was born and how he would have us to treat one another – with love and kindness.
Source: O’Connell M. Get wrapped up in family traditions this Christmas. U.S. Catholic [serial online]. December 2000;65(4):29. Available from: MAS Ultra – School Edition, Ipswich, MA. Accessed August 12, 2008.
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