Accio Jacksons!

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Christmas Traditions

by Rebecca on 2007-12-20

Two weeks ago in Relief Society, we had a lesson about Christmas traditions and how people could make their holidays more meaningful by keeping Christmas traditions for their families. That has made me think quite a bit about what traditions we had when I was growing up, and what traditions William and I can have together.

The two traditions that William and I thought of were to read the entire book of Luke and Charles Dickensʼ A Christmas Carol. The book of Luke has 24 chapters, so in reading one chapter a day starting on December 1 and finishing on Christmas Eve, we can review the Saviorʼs life, ministry, and Atonement during the Christmas season and be reminded of all he has done for us. After a bit of a late start, we are on track with that, and I have appreciated the spirit that I have felt as we have read those very familiar chapters yet again.

We also wanted to read A Christmas Carol because itʼs just the best Christmas story ever, and instead of chapters, it has staves. How cool is that? But we havenʼt gotten nearly as far with that one — I fell asleep the first night that William read it to me. But we still have 5 days to read it, so maybe I will curl up with it tonight after we finish wrapping our Christmas presents. Iʼll report back my progress here.

The Christmas traditions from Allen family Christmases past arenʼt that flashy, but they make me smile the most. One of my favorites is the brown velour sweater that Dad would wear every Christmas morning. I donʼt think he has that sweater anymore, unfortunately. Another tradition was Momʼs sugar cookies. I remember dozens of sugar cookies piled high on the kitchen counter, in all the usual shapes, bells, stars, and hearts. Grandma would always make gingerbread men for Christmas and bring them to Texas in her little Christmas cookie tin. Iʼd eat the red hots first, so Gingerbread Man would slowly lose his limbs, his head, and his torso, in that order. And of course, Christmas wouldnʼt be the same without Dad saying “I think itʼs a new golf bag” about whatever present he was about to open, regardless of the size. One last tradition and Iʼll stop. This one started when I was in middle school. Every year Dad takes me (and Carrie, if sheʼs in town) Christmas shopping. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement — he gets his Christmas shopping for Mom done with helpful input from other women, and I get to be with Dad, shopping, and eat lunch.

Iʼm looking forward to Christmas.