I know a family who spends their entire day in their POjammies - and I think that's a tradition I could easily embrace! Another friend of mine makes sure every member of her household gets a brand new pair of fuzzy socks - then they slide around on their hardwood floors together. That is one rough-housing group of peeps!
My folks always hung the mistletoe at their front door. They were so funny and yes, they took advantage of that little sprig every chance they got! Daddy gave mama a large bottle of her favorite perfume every year along with a 5 pound box of chocolates, and mama bought daddy some tool that he just had to have - he always needed something, being a carpenter.
Some traditions are funny and some are a little more on the serious side. But the most important thing about tradition is that it roots us in who we are - those habits give us a sense of belonging with this group of people we call "family". Good, bad or indifferent - our family is what we have. We do not choose them - they just "are" - but it's nice when at the end of Christmas day we can say to ourselves, "You know, if I were to choose people to be part of my family, these would be the people I'd choose!"
It's a warm feeling to be where you belong - and know you are welcome there! Traditions are such an important part of who we are - and they vary greatly from family to family. It's so amazing to me when two young people decide to get married - and for Thanksgiving and Christmas they have to try to adapt traditions they are used to from their family growing up - the art of "blending" the traditions together fascinates me.
For instance, when my husband and I got married, he would not eat chicken and noodles without mashed potatoes under them! I was raised in a household where that was considered a "carb fest" and would never have been allowed! My mother never had potatoes and pasta in the same meal. But somehow we learned to compromise - we found middle ground, because we loved and respected each other's traditions. Sometimes I eat chicken and noodles without the potatoes. No harm, no foul. Get it - chicken... foul?
But Christmas always comes. We hurry and scurry in order to protect our precious traditions and make sure they are properly observed. We do our best to make it a day that everyone remembers for years to come! I have friends who scrapbook, and believe me - they have spent months coordinating outfits for Christmas day in order to get the perfect photos they want! The day flies by, though, doesn't it? We spend so much more time preparing for it than sitting back to relax and enjoy it!
Christmas always comes - Jesus' birthday rolls around every year on this date. When you look at the smiles around you and hear the laughter in the air, just take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are loved by these people - and remind yourself of how much you love them in return. Then remind yourself that God loves all of you so very much! So much, in fact, that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus! Wow, you mean a lot to Him!
Celebrate today in every traditional way you possibly can - the fun ones and the serious ones. And know that no matter what life has been like for you this past year - today is set aside to celebrate the birth of Christ. Today is His day and so I invite you to meditate on the precious baby born on this date - and what that means to you and your family!
From my family to yours - Have a very Merry Christmas!
Now, allow me to share a little "tradition" that happens around our house!
Here's "Traditions of Christmas".
Here is a recipe for bread pudding that my mama passed down to me. Enjoy!
Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding (makes 12 servings)
2 cups fat-free (skim) milk
4 egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
12 slices whole wheat bread, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apples
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 2-qt. casserole with nonstick cooking spray.
- Whisk milk, egg whites, sugar, butter, vanilla and cinnamon in large bowl until well blended and sugar is dissolved. Stir in bread cubes, raisins and dried apples. Let stand 5 minutes. Spoon into prepared casserole.
- Bake 35 minutes or until browned and heated through. Serve warm.
If you're counting dietary exchanges, this is 1/2 fruit, 1 starch and 1/2 fat.
1g. sat. fat
26g. carbs (yeah I know - but it's Christmas)
1 mg. cholesterol
1g. dietary fiber
214 mg. sodium