Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Gratituesday: Christmas Traditions


Today I'm linking up with Laura from Heavenly Homemakers for what she calls Gratituesday!

On Sunday, our pastor asked us to look at all of our Christmas traditions, and think about why we do them. He reminded us that so often we get caught up in the tradition itself that we forget the real meaning behind it.


So many of my holiday memories are wrapped up in tradition, so I took some extra time this weekend as we kicked-off our Christmas traditions to really slow down and remind myself why we do the things we do.


Of course, at the basis of everything we do around the holidays, is the real reason for the season - Jesus' birth - but I'm also a firm believer in having some fun family traditions throughout the holidays as well. They're a way to show our love for each other, remember our blessings, and just share some good ole' laughs.

Like chopping down a Christmas tree...

 (2010)

(2009 - Our First Christmas)

Growing up in Alabama, we always had an artificial tree. There just wasn't a plethora of Christmas tree farms down south, so if you wanted a real tree, you went to Lowe's or the Boy Scout Troop. Because neither of those felt very Christmas-y, and because my mom's artificial tree was just plain beautiful, we opted for that instead of a live one.

Five years ago when I moved to NY with my mom and dad, we started some new traditions. We were away from family and friends, and really needed to create some traditions for the three of us to enjoy so that NY would start to feel like home for us. That's when we started making annual trips to Wilbur's Christmas Tree Farm to chop one down ourselves. And, as our family grew and included my cute red-headed husband, he was fully on board to carry out that tradition with us!

This year, as we decorated our 3rd tree together, I was reminded of those memories and how sweet they are. I don't ever want our tree chopping tradition to be an autopilot event. I'm so thankful for the tradition of picking out our tree, and bringing it home.


Another tradition that is near and dear to me is giving ornaments. Nathan and I started this tradition when we got married, and it's one I enjoy so much! We typically tend to buy ornaments that represent inside jokes, or commemorate trips we've taken together. This year, as we gave our 3rd Christmas ornaments to each other, we reminisced about ornaments past, laughed, and shared good memories from our vacations. 

  
And last, but certainly not least, is our Nashville family traditions. Since Nathan works in retail and can rarely get off during the holidays, we have spent the last two January's in Nashville celebrating a belated Christmas with his family. 

At least one night during our stay we set aside and designate as Christmas. We give gifts, play games and eat a home cooked meal. Oh, and there's lots (and lots) of laughing involved. We are so looking forward to visiting them again this January! 

I'm so thankful that our pastor reminded us to slow down and think about our traditions this year. My prayer is that I don't let a single one go by without fully appreciating its meaning, and being fully present in the moment so that I can enjoy it.



4 comments:

  1. Love this post. I agree - it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season. It's important to slow down and remember what we're celebrating. =)

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  2. You are so right - how to decide what is really important and what to let go is not always clear. We are SO looking forward to ya'll coming down in January - a tradition that we definitely want to keep.

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  3. I was just thinking the other day about how I need to start thinking more about the traditions and why we do what we do before we have kids! I want to be prepared! I do know I get caught up in the busyness and I feel like school adds to that. My post tomorrow is one I wrote about trying not to forget why we celebrate!

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  4. This was such a sweet post. I love that you two gift ornaments that represent moments spent together. How lovely!

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Rachel