Holiday Traditions

Posted by  | Monday, August 11, 2008  at 5:34 AM  
Tradition - an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)...this is Webster's definition of a tradition. I laughed when I looked this up because of the word "established." I have to be honest with you when I say that it has been hard to "establish" traditions for holidays in the Dunavant household. We have changed some things over time, modified others, cut out still others and our life experiences have defined the rest!:)(For example...having a newborn, husband having cancer, having another newborn, moving around before moving overseas, and then moving overseas have all happened during the Thanksgiving/Christmas seasons!) So, the past few years have seen some changes in our "traditions" but there are several things I would like to touch on...

We consider Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Birthdays to be the "biggies" around here. I am just going to touch on a couple of these to hopefully help get our discussion started.

Birthdays...EVERYONE'S Birthday is special and the birthday person is treated as SPECIAL...all children get to choose what our family eats for the day, picks out their theme for their party, the kind of cake and ice cream they desire and invite who they want to their party. The place for the party is determined between mom, dad and child.:)

Christmas...The Celebration of Jesus' birth is the most important focus during this holiday. The day after Thanksgiving (or even Thanksgiving night if I can get Matt to get out the tree) is the day we decorate the ENTIRE house for Christmas. We like for it to look very festive and wintery around here! We also begin focusing on the real meaning of Christmas with our kids especially as they are confronted with all of the fabulous toys and commercialism around them. I also have a Nativity set that I leave out all year that is "kid friendly." It is by Fontanini and has been a great tool for my little ones to know the story and for them to know that it is so important that we celebrate it all year. We open one present on Christmas Eve and then we begin Christmas morning by reading the Christmas story together. We then open other gifts but those range in number each year. (we did not do this schedule when Meredith was the only child and very little..it has just evolved over time.)

Yes, we do "do Santa." I know this is a touchy subject so I just wanted to tell you how we used to do Santa, how it has been wishy washy, and how we have tweeked it a little. We started out with Meredith doing Santa like we did when we were growing up..BIG, BIG deal...he was a big focus of Christmas, lots of presents and finding out as older children that Santa is make believe and he is just for fun. Our idea of Santa has evolved over time and we have gone back and forth as parents in the discussion..yes, Santa?...no Santa?...yes, Santa? By the time Madison and Matthew Ray came along Meredith knew the "truth" of Santa. It didn't phase her a bit. She likes going through the stores or magazines to tell us what she would like "santa" (wink, wink) to bring her. We decided to keep seeing Santa at the mall and having Santa bring presents for Christmas morning. The thing we changed was telling them how Santa does this. We tell them that the parent's pay for all of the things Santa brings and that Daddy is really a Santa helper. I know it's touchy...it has been a wishy washy topic for us each year to discuss...we probably will discuss it many more times...it's hard to stop it once it is started and becomes very confusing when family and friends get involved!:)

Well, I hope to have gotten the topic of Holdiday Traditions off to a start. I know these ideas are not just earth shattereing but I just wanted to give you a jumping off point! Please give us your ideas and traditions for holidays! I know I could use the creative ideas! I have a great Chicken Dressing Recipe for Christmas and Thanksgiving that I learned from Matt's meemaw but I can't seem to find it...I will look some more and post it again this week when I find it!

5 comments:

Krista said...

Stacey,
Thanks for kicking us off. I'm really excited about this week and can't wait to get your chicken dressing recipe.

Food always seems to bring back memories of holidays and I'd love to see other foods and recipes our readers would like to share! So, commenters, post away and post those recipes too :).

The Monier Family said...

Thank you so much for sharing! What a great topic.
A tradition that my husband and I would like to start at Christmas is a family talent show. This would be where each family member would have the opportunity to showcase a talent (hidden or otherwise) with the rest of the family. Lord willing we hope to implement it this Christmas!

Matt and Stacey said...

Great idea! I love the idea of a Christmas talent show..and my kids (being the extroverted actresses and actor they are) would eat that up!
thanks for the idea!

Lauren said...

I'm so glad that y'all will be discussing this! My husband and I have been trying to decide for a long time now whether or not we'll "do Santa," and this year it will actually matter, so we need to make up our minds soon! Has anyone read "Treasuring God in our Traditions" by Noel Piper? It's a wonderful resource to help get you thinking about celebrating holidays (and every days!) in a Christ-centered way.

ChezDeshotels said...

On the Santa issue....we have a little different tradition because my family had Santa when we grew up but some of my brother in laws did not so my parents were unsure how to handle the differences if ideas and opinions, since Christmas is HUGE around our house....I am talking X-mas trees in every room, yes even the bathrooms and of course I am my mother's daughter nad do the same thing. I have tons of decorations. Anyway so when grandkids came in the picture we decided the first weekend of Dec we always have our Yule Log Celebration and that is a time to get together and prepare our hearts for the true meaning of the season. We go caroling and deliver seasonal fare as an outreach....we added that when we get back there is papa and nana clause. They do not look like santa and the ms. They have costumes but it is just thier faces no beards etc...They tell the kids about the love and true meaning of the holiday and get them really excited and then on X-mas eve we see Nana and Papa Clause again as they bring a special present (not nessasarily expensive) to each child and give each family a chanllange of ministry for the coming year. Not exactly traditional but we love it and Lydia is always so excited to see Papa Clause. No confusion and the Christ centeredness of the season stays in the center of our hearts and minds.

Thanks for the great post looking forward to hearing everyone's ideas

AJ

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