Family Christmas Holiday Tradition gives us freedom and guidance in a period that’s otherwise hectic and stressful, and often unorganized. Tradition gives us a blueprint of how our family anticipates and loves the break season, what they expect, how they love to celebrate.
7. When the break draws nearer, we children got more and more excited. When we were high-spirited and tempestuous, mom just needed seriously to say. “Look, an angle’s hair!” And we would look in awe and see really a golden hair. Little did we know that mom must have made some gift packages and the golden threat must have fallen on the floor. But for us children this was a certain sign that Christmas was near. Mom left signs of the coming holy night everywhere for us, so we would make sure to be good, and patient, and kind. This managed to get easier for us children, who yearned for that long awaited Christmas Day!
8. Then, 1 day the wait was over – the 24th of December dawned. We children had to take a little afternoon nap – I am certain that mom needed the full time to produce last adjustments to the Christmas tree and the arrangement of our Christmas presents. In Europe the Christmas tree is the highlight of the 24th. The tree is hidden from view for kids, and for the very first time seen in the holy night when the doorway to the Christmas room magically opens. The room is locked already the night time before Christmas. We children were especially attentive – maybe we would hear a movement in the Christmas room – maybe an angle came by – or the Christkind personally – to create presents!
9. The nap on the 24th was very hard for us kids. Who is able to sleep when this kind of excitement lies in the air? When we finally got up, we laid on our best clothes. Then mom was included with the original Christmas storybook! It had been a story of a little boy named Heinele, who’s mother had sent him out in rags to the bitter cold winter night to market toys to the busy people on the streets – who rushed home with their family celebration without even noticing him. The boy went to the woods and as he looked in the snow – lonely and ice cold – he found the Golden Star of Christmas.
At the same time in heaven, the angles were hectic, trying to find the Golden Star that Christkind had lost since it flew over winter months world on earth. Finally they found the frozen boy, holding the Golden Star tight in his hand. He was dead. They took the boy into heaven. Here it was warm. It gave plenty to consume, and Heinele was truly happy – probably for the very first time in his young life. But the good boy, as he saw that his mother in the cold house down on earth was crying because her child did not come home, returned to earth to comfort his mom, bringing her true Christmas love. Love reigned on the joy and comfort of residing in heaven. A true sacrifice.
And while we children hold on every word that came from mom’s lips, suddenly – first faint however louder – we heard the clear Christmas bell. It signaled that Christkind was here! We would rash to the Christmas room. The doors silently swung open. And we would stand there in awe, still and devout, our available eyes reflecting Christmas Spirit. The Christmas tree would stand in most its magic beauty – brightly shining with many real candles and magic stars. We would sing Christmas carols and dad would browse the Christmas story from the Holy Bible.
Finally we children could rush to your Christmas presents – many big and little gift-wrapped boxes in most colors, decorated with beautiful ribbons and a fir twig on each gift box. We’d each a little extra corner right underneath the Christmas tree, and near to the crib where Maria and Josef and the beautiful baby would remind us of the reason behind our joy. To find our space, the packages had little cards with our names on them. And the Ah and Oh was great!
10. And mom did not forget the lonely people outside. She put a hot shining candle in each window to greet people who were lonely and cold this night.
11. The Christmas dinner was another highlight of the day. We’d our traditional fish dinner with potato salad which I loved. The table was set with grace and glister. Each set had a mandarin that held a Christmas candle. Fir twigs were decorating the table. It had been festive and the candle light reflected in our smiles!
12. The Midnight Christmas mass was for the older kids. I remember sitting in church and seeing the happy smiles on every face. how to celebrate Christmas This alone showed me that in this special night magic must have occurred. I really could see the newest hat, the newest shawl, new boots that people were wearing. Everyone had something new this night. And if it was not a brand new bit of cloth, it was the renewed hope and light within their heart that held the promise that life is good and all is well, irrespective of the life span circumstances.
Today I am old. My children are out of your home and I am alone again. But at Christmas time, I still remember my family’s holiday tradition: the haunting scent of Christmas; the dazzling light that lightens a person’s eye that looks into the entire world with hope; music and laughter that fills the hearts and the space at Christmas eve. I thank my parents for the wonderful Christmas tradition that they had given us – a history that lives on …
When Christmas holiday draws near, don’t let yourself be burdened by stressful eleventh hour holiday preparations. Follow your own time proven family holiday tradition – and if you don’t have any occasion tradition yet, manifest your personal! Utilize a number of the suggestions I shared with you from our own family Christmas holiday tradition.