Yes, of a white Christmas. And for me, it is just like the ones I used to know. But today I was made aware of the fact that my 34 year old husband couldn't remember it ever snowing on Christmas here in Washington. Of course, this was something that we were talking about around 10:00 am or so. After watching the nightly news, we were given actual statistics saying that this was the third Christmas it had snowed since 1948 or something like that. But earlier in the day I couldn't help but feeling a little sad for my kids that they (most likely) would never experience the thrill of waking up on Christmas morning with inches of snow already on the ground while the white fluffy flakes continue to fall gently from the sky. I'm so thankful for the years we spent in climates that allowed those childhood fantasies to be fulfilled.
As I was talking with a friend, she mentioned that one of her boys had declared, after hearing that Christmas was just days away, that then it would snow. She had to gently let him down to the fact that most likely there would be no snow. That even though so many of the Christmas movies and stories show Christmas and snow arriving at the same time, that isn't always the case. I have also had a couple of different conversations recently about different Christmas traditions. This got me to thinking about the different things that signify, to me, that Christmas time is here.
So here goes round #3 for a "list" post. Please take the time, if you can, to leave comments regarding your own family traditions or things that signify Christmas to you!
1. First and foremost is the Christmas music that we pull out very early on in the season that helps bring the Christmas spirit and joy in on the right foot! Some of my favorite Christmas CDs are; Amy Grant's - A Christmas Album, 4Him's - Season of Love, Carpenters' - Christmas Portrait, The Chipmunks' - Christmas with the Chipmunks, Michael W. Smith's - christmastime. These are just a few but definitely get the most "air" time!
2. Christmas lights - we don't ever put any up on the outside of our house but I love seeing the houses all decorated. And to be quite honest, I really don't mind the big blow-up yard decorations.
3. Though we missed both this year, for the past couple of years our old small group from Bethany has went to the mountains for a playing-in-the-snow/cutting-down-a-tree trip and the ladies have a cookie exchange/craft night. It is such a joy and a blessing to be able to gather with friends who share our belief in a holy baby born of a virgin who would later be our risen Saviour. The ultimate Christmas gift! What an amazing gift that was and continues to be!
4. Christmas programs at church and school.
5. The buying of the girls' Christmas dresses and then the bringing them home and having them try them on for Daddy. I love to see them get all "foo-fooed" up and then watch them spin and twirl. I can still remember the feel of it myself and how much like a princess that certain dress can make you feel.
6. Taking a day to bake and make Christmas candy with my mom and sisters. Some years are more extravagant than others but we always have a lot of fun and of course enjoy the "fruits of our labor".
7. I was very lucky to marry into a family who celebrates on Christmas Eve. Because we've never moved away, we have never had to choose for ourselves how our immediate family would go about opening our gifts. Traditionally, we spend Christmas Eve at Keith's parents house. We have dinner together, open gifts and if we are lucky get to sneak in a game or two before its off to church for the Christmas Eve service.
8. After last night, I would have to say that my favorite tradition would be attending our churches Christmas Eve service. It is beautiful and wonderful and is the perfect way to bring all your thoughts right back around to the true and real meaning of Christmas.
9. I suppose this goes along with #7 but MY family has always celebrated on Christmas Day. On the off years that we actually aren't living with my parents we usually head out to Mom and Dad's after the Candlelight Christmas Eve service, where we all crash in empty rooms to be ready for getting up bright and early. My sisters make homemade bagels and cinnamon rolls and we sit around the tree and the Christmas story is read. Then we open gifts. I love the family time spent together.
Well, these are a big part of the list, though I'm sure I'm missing some things. As I finish up this post, the rain is coming down in icy sheets and I can't help but wish that we might wake to a wonderland of white!
Merry, Merry Christmas!