Family Christmas Holiday Tradition gives us freedom and guidance in a time that is otherwise hectic and stressful, and often unorganized. Tradition gives us a blueprint of how our family anticipates and loves the vacation season, what they expect, how they love to celebrate.
7. When the vacation draws nearer, we children got more and more excited. Once we were high-spirited and tempestuous, mom just had a need to say. “Look, an angle’s hair!” And we would look in awe and see a really golden hair. Little did we all know that mom will need to have made some gift packages and the golden threat will need to have fallen on the floor. But also for us children this was a sure sign that Christmas was near. Mom left signs of the coming holy night everywhere for people, so we would make sure to be good, and patient, and kind. This caused it to be easier for people children, who yearned for that long awaited Christmas Day!
8. Then, one day the wait was over – the 24th of December dawned. We children had to have a little afternoon nap – I am certain that mom needed enough time to create last adjustments to the Christmas tree and the arrangement of our Christmas presents. In Europe the Christmas tree is the highlight of the 24th. The tree is hidden from view for children, and for the first time seen in the holy night when the entranceway to the Christmas room magically opens. The area is locked already the night time before Christmas. We children were especially attentive – maybe we would hear a movement in the Christmas room – maybe an angle came by – or the Christkind personally – to create presents!
9. The nap on the 24th was very hard for people kids. Who will sleep when this excitement is based on the air? Once we finally got up, we laid on our best clothes. Then mom included the standard Christmas storybook! It had been an account of a little boy named Heinele, who’s mother had sent him out in rags into the bitter cold winter night to sell toys to the busy people on the streets – who rushed home with their family celebration without even noticing him. The boy went into the woods and as he looked in the snow – lonely and ice cold – he found the Golden Star of Christmas.
At once in heaven, the angles were hectic, trying to find the Golden Star that Christkind had lost as it flew over winter months world on earth. Finally they found the frozen boy, holding the Golden Star tight in his hand. He was dead. They took the boy into heaven. Here it was warm. It gave plenty to consume, and Heinele was truly happy – probably for the first time in his young life. But the good boy, as he saw that his mother in the cold house down on the planet was crying because her child didn’t come home, returned to earth to comfort his mom, bringing her true Christmas love. Love reigned on the joy and comfort of staying in heaven. A real sacrifice.
And while we children hang on every word that originated in mom’s lips, suddenly – first faint but louder – we heard the clear Christmas bell. It signaled that Christkind was here! We’d rash to the Christmas room. The doors silently swung open. And we would stand there in awe, still and devout, our available eyes reflecting Christmas Spirit. The Christmas tree would stand in most its magic beauty – brightly shining with many real candles and magic stars. We’d sing Christmas carols and dad would read the Christmas story from the Holy Bible.
Finally we children could rush to the Christmas presents – many big and little gift-wrapped boxes in most colors, decorated with beautiful ribbons and a fir twig on each gift box. We had each a little extra corner right beneath the Christmas tree, and near the crib where Maria and Josef and the beautiful baby would remind us of the reason for our joy. To locate our space, the packages had little cards with our names on them. And the Ah and Oh was great!
10. And mom didn’t forget the lonely people outside. She put a hot shining candle in each window to greet those that were lonely and cold this night.
11. The Christmas dinner was another highlight of the day. We had our traditional fish dinner with potato salad which I loved. The table was set with grace and glister. Each set had a mandarin that held a Christmas candle. Fir twigs were decorating the table. It had been festive and the candle light reflected in our smiles!
12. The Midnight Christmas mass was for the older kids. I remember sitting in church and seeing the happy smiles on every face. This alone showed me that in this special night magic will need to have occurred. I really could see the brand new hat, the brand new shawl, new boots that individuals were wearing. Everyone had something new this night. And if it was not a fresh little bit of cloth, it was the renewed hope and light within their heart that held the promise that life is good and all is well, regardless of the life circumstances.
Today I am old. the most beautiful Christmas holidays of the year My children are out of the house and I am alone again. But at Christmas time, I still remember my family’s holiday tradition: the haunting scent of Christmas; the dazzling light that lightens the eye that looks into the entire world with hope; music and laughter that fills the hearts and the space at Christmas eve. I thank my parents for the wonderful Christmas tradition that they had given us – a tradition that lives on …
When Christmas holiday draws near, don’t let yourself be burdened by stressful eleventh hour holiday preparations. Follow your time proven family holiday tradition – and in the event that you don’t have a holiday tradition yet, manifest your personal! Utilize some of the suggestions I shared with you from our personal family Christmas holiday tradition.