Our Christmas Traditions are very special to us. This year will be different for a variety of reasons, but mostly because Mom is so ill.

We have our immediate family traditions, and then my family of origin traditions.
Christmas Eve is with our children. When the kids were little we would read the Christmas story and each child who could read would read a part. As they got older, we moved away from that tradition because we started going to Christmas Eve service. We have a dinner of some sort, usually finger foods and each of us is allowed to open one gift from under the tree. Even as adults, the kids still love this part of our Christmas.

On Christmas morning, we all gather in the living room and Christmas music is playing in the background. We come in our jammies and robes and slippers, just as we have crawled out of bed and gather around the tree. One person hands out the gifts to everyone, and we all enjoy watching each others delight as they open their packages.

Every year, each child receives an ornament that highlights some special accomplishment, or milestone, or something they were especially interested in over the past year. Our tree is full of Spiderman’s, basketball players, SpongeBob, and so on. When my children move away from home, their special ornaments are packed up and taken to their new home for their own Christmas tree.

After gifts, we enjoy a breakfast of my bacon, egg, and cheese quiche, blueberry muffins and orange juice (made in the blender). THAT is really the highlight of the day for my kids. It is the only day of the year I am allowed to make this dish. They treat it as a sacred thing!

We then would head to my parents for the next day and a half. Prior to my mom’s illness, the children would all sleep over at their house and spend the whole day after Christmas bowling or roller skating or playing games and pool. Of course there was plenty of great food.

This will be a year of new traditions in many respects. Our son and his wife won’t be with us this year. It will be the first time all my kids are not home for Christmas. My daughter in law will be making the Christmas Quiche at their house this year…

Our celebration with my family will be different also. We will be eating in 2 different places because we can’t all fit upstairs and mom is unable to go down to the rec room. Too many people cause her high anxiety now, so we will take turns in shifts coming upstairs. There will be no overnight for the grandkids, and no bowling or skating either.

Things have changed.

One thing that has not changed is Jesus. He is who we are celebrating with all our human activity. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow and He will go forth triumphant and exhaulted. If all of Christmas depended on the traditions I would be so disappointed! But Christmas is Jesus Christ. It is not quiche and gifts, it is THE Gift, Jesus Christ the Messiah.

Bless you this Christmas Eve. Enjoy your traditions and make some new ones. But in the center of it all, keep Jesus.

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