'Tis the time of year for holiday traditions to start! Our family, like all families, I'm sure, has some traditions that we brought from our families of origin, while we have others that we started after we got married. Still other traditions are still rather new. Here are a few of my favorites.
1. Decorating the house on Thanksgiving weekend. When I was working, we did this because I would usually have a little time off. If I was on call, though, we had to put it off for a few days.
2. Christmas reading. Since the kids were small, we have always adjusted our night-time reading during the holidays to include lots of Christmas materials. Several years ago, we got a copy of Letters from Father Christmas by Tolkein. Since then, we read as much of that book as we can through the Christmas season. It is rather sobering to read the letters written during the war years where Father Christmas explains to the children why they are getting just a few gifts.
3. Our newest tradition is starting this year. We put my favorite Nativity set under the Christmas tree instead of gifts. We will keep the gifts in a closet until Christmas Eve. The idea is that not having the gifts to stare at for a month will, hopefully, keep us all focused more on Jesus, and less on stuff. It will also not be near as obvious that there are fewer packages under the tree this year. So far, I'm very happy with this tradition and hope that it will continue.
4. Christmas Eve festivities. Mr. Math Tutor usually goes to all of the Christmas Eve services, either because he's playing bass guitar, because he's doing sound, or just because he wants to be there. The rest of us come to the late service (usually has fewer people there). We come home to have a light dinner and then open one present each before bed.
What are some of your Christmas traditions? Are there any that you would like to start this year?