The Third Day of Christmas
There is something magical about the cherished Christmas activities that have been passed down through the generations and meant so much to our family over the years .These traditions bring us closer as family and fill our hearts with warmth. They remind us of the reason why we are all here and who we want to become.
As a child I lived on a farm in a small rural community. I was one of seven children and normal every day living was expensive let alone catering for Christmas. Just imagine having to purchase seven Santa gifts as well as parent presents,and giving pocket money so each child could buy their sibling a special gift. But that is just what my parents did. To this day I still don't know how they managed to do it. At the start of December, or there about, my Dad and a couple of us kids would go up the paddock and look for the perfect Christmas tree - a hoop pine that would fit in our lounge room. When we got it back to the house, he'd put it in an old bucket filled with stones and then all us kids would decorate it with tinsel and baubles. There was a special star that Dad would put on the very top as its crowning glory. While I have tried to carry on this tradition with my own family, it has been met with a few challenges when residing in the city. Now we substitute the hoop pine with a variety of alternatives. The current tree, my husband made from old pallet boards nailed to a sturdy frame. It is great for longevity and for attaching baubles, but lacks the scent and texture of a real live tree. Not too attractive without all it's ornamentation but we will fix that in good time.
Traditions include recipes for traditional meals, snacks and gifts you make; advent calendars, scriptural story you read together, an ornament you place on the tree, movies you watch every year, songs you sing etc.
What ever your traditions, however they started and what they mean to you , now’s the perfect time to tell the story of each one in your journal. Traditions connect us with people , with places and even objects. And being able to spread that connection with others is so exciting. I'd love to hear about your traditions and if you don't have any perhaps this is the year to make one up of your very own, especially if you have just started out on your own or started a family of your own.
Prompts for today are:
- We all have family traits passed down from generation to generation and the holidays are a great way of letting those characteristics to shine. Weather these traits bring out generosity, enthusiasm for life or even the ability to find the best bargains at after Christmas sales, take a moment to ponder how these universal moments bind all people and generations together. Share how the holidays reveal those similarities among family members.
- If you only had one tradition, what would it be and why?Does the tradition have a timeline? If so, jot down the schedule?
are some of your family’s holiday traditions? Who first started the tradition? Who is most likely to carry on the tradition? What is your favouite aspect of the tradition? Does the tradition represent a deep belief, a sentimental moment or a bigger picture? What is it? Did this event grow from another tradition? Did other traditions result from this event?
- If you were to create your own, what would it be like? What would it celebrate?
- Think about a holiday tradition you don’t understand. Research it and write a short paragraph to explain it’s origins. (eg Stockings, Kissing under Mistletoe, Poinsettias as a symbol of Christmas).
The photo opposite is of my poor Poinsettia tree, which I purchased several years ago at an after Christmas sale (1/2 dead at the time) has not fared well under my black thumb. Needless to say it won't have a bright red flower for Christmas.
Journaling Tricks and Tips
Some suggestions for writing journal entries that will transport you back in time you might like to consider using all the senses as a springboard for getting descriptive words onto the bank page. Describe the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and textures of your traditions (Lights sparkling on the tree, aroma of homemade cookies, the sound of carolers on the street). The holiday season is filled with amazing sights, smells, sounds and tastes and textures that make every tradition more meaningful. Hope this hint is helpful.
I tried without much success to make my own Advent Calendar. After spending two days trying to convert pizza boxes (at least I fed the family between failures) into a chocolaholic countdown calendar I had to scrap the project altogether. This morning I relented and purchased a store bought one. You would not believe how scarse they are only days days into the festive season. I had to go to several shops to finally secure one that contained chocolate. Daughter is happy to catch up on lost days and scoff down 3 chocolates in one go.
Well, I am off to pack for the big road trip tomorrow. Isabel and I are going on a girls trip to North Queensland - over 1000km one way. I hope to be able to update this blog as we go but that will depend on internet availability in the wilderness of the far north. All my Aussie subscribers will get this joke.