One of the best things about Christmas is the memories that are made around this time. From family traditions, to opening presents and so much more. One of the big things I always remember as a kid was every Christmas Eve we would head over to my Aunt and Uncles house and celebrate with other relatives that I hadn’t seen since the year before. We would have a big meal, starting off with Oyster Stew (never liked it), chicken and other yummy things. Afterwards we would gather around the Christmas tree (The same Tree every year that I remember). The most memorable thing I received was one of the most awkward things I ever received. I was about 11 or 12 and got a pack of bikini underwear not sure if I ever wore them. Another memory of that time was Christmas morning at our house, I would wake at the crack of dawn, waiting for my parents to wake. After opening all the presents, the phone calls would begin. My friends and I would call each other to see what we had gotten and whoever got the best loot was the house we would all go over to. One Christmas when I was about 10 I had been in the hospital due to a surgery on my wrist. What was suspected as a tumor ended up being a bone infection. I had to spend my entire Christmas Vacation in the hospital, the entire time I had to have an IV attached to me. That was the only time I ever got something I ever really wanted from my parents. As I grew older Christmas lost some of its magic for me and just ended up being another day.
Not until I joined the Army did Christmas change, being away from home and sometimes being out of the country made me appreciate Christmas again. The biggest change was when I got married and had my first daughter. Then Christmas became exciting again, not for myself, but seeing my children get excited over Christmas made it magical again. Being a soldier I had to spend a few Christmases apart from my family and those where some of the hardest times of my life. Another big change for me was when I accepted Christ as my savior. It made me reconsider what Christmas was all about. As they say the reason for the season changed. I always think back to a Charlie Brown Christmas and what Linus said to Charlie Brown, about what Christmas was all about.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.
12And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.”
Luke 2: 8-14
As a family we started some of our own traditions and attempted unsuccessfully to try others. One of the things we do is have an all night Christmas movie marathon. We watch movies like; White Christmas, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause, Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, A Flintstones Christmas Carol and other versions of A Christmas Carol. I think Mom and I are usually the first to fall asleep. One year we tried to do the “Elf Meal”, not a hit. Mixing Spaghetti, Maple Syrup, M&Ms, Chocolate Pop Tarts and whatever else we put in there. I must say it tasted awful, so that was an aborted tradition.
What type of traditions do you celebrate with your family?
Well I will end this all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to come.