Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve Traditions


Christmas Eve - A Special Time of Year!

Christmas parties
Ornaments adorn trees and make
a festive decoration.
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas! From the smallest little towns to the biggest cities across the country, Christmas Eve traditions will be honored by many. All the decorations are being hung on the trees with lights adorning houses everywhere. I just love this time of year. Christmas seems to bring out the good cheer as people as people are bustling to get that special gift for that special someone. And it's a wonderful time of year for reflecting on all of our blessings.
Every family seems to have their own special way of spending Christmas Eve. I am lucky enough to have been able to spend each Christmas Eve with my immediate family. When my girls were young we were fortunate to live in an area that had forested areas nearby.  We made it our tradition to go cut our Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. What fun it was trudging through the snow to find that perfect tree on Christmas Eve! Just a note of caution if you choose to do this, though. The trees look much smaller in the forest than they do in your living room so "go small!" 
ornaments
Stockings hung by the chimney
with care.
We would have everything ready to start decorating when we got back home. My daughters loved making our tree look so special every year while they sang Christmas carols.  All of our ornaments were handmade throughout the years by them, and of course we added new ones each year. We also made our own stockings to hang from the mantel. Thirty-five years later, we still use these stockings!
Now that my girls are grown and have children of their own, we've found some new traditions. Christmas Eve is the time for the kids to make their gingerbread houses. This is so much fun. And who cares about the mess? Lots of memories are being made. 

Parenting magazine lists twenty fun activities to keep kids active as they anticipate the arrival of Santa. Watching Christmas movies, making a new decoration for the tree and watching a favorite movie are great ways to stay busy. K
ids are usually pretty excited about this time of the season. The anticipation is sometimes overwhelming for some of them. Keeping busy can help the time move more quickly for them. 
Christmas carols
We cut our own tree and decorate it
on Christmas Eve as a family
tradition.
To make this time of year even more magical, Christmas Eve is a great day to take in a holiday show or take a walk, weather permitting, or drive to see Christmas lights. As a special treat, you can even track Santa's progress as he makes his way to your house. 
If you are looking to start a tradition for your Christmas Eve activities, you could check with the local charities to see if any are in need of assistance such as serving at a Christmas Eve dinner or helping distribute baskets to needy children and their families. Many organizations are looking for volunteers and there is no better feeling than giving back to the community. Check with the American Red Cross, local food banks or Toys for Tots programs to name a few. You can Google local food banks + your location to find one near you.
This Christmas Eve will include family from ages 6 to 91! We are so blessed to still have our two Great Grandparents (my husband's parents) who will be with us again this year.  We will get to share the stories of Christmas' of yesterdays. These are stories that NEVER get old!  o, I am hoping that you all have your own special traditions that will once again be observed, and that you find this as magical a time of year as I do. Merry Christmas to all and here is to traditions!!! 

Cindy Foley
Contributing Writer


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