Thursday, December 10, 2009
Christmas Traditions! by DL Larson
Each year my husband and I make a "memory book" for our granddaughters Alex and Kylie. We started this the year they were born and have enjoyed documenting each year as it unfolds. This will be our eighth memory book. Sometimes we put pictures and stories in a photo album, other years we have taken our selections to be laminated and bound. Each year we write a little something in the new memory book. Sometimes it's silly, other times more meaningful depending on the year and what has happened. The book is our special gift at Christmas. I don't know if it's a gift just for them, their parents or for us! It is relatively inexpensive, yet priceless. A year's worth of memories are stored and preserved, and just like many mothers and grandmothers too, if there was a fire in the house, I'd be running to save our memory books. Silly, I know, but that's how precious they have become to me.
In an economy where our budgets are smaller, many are turning to alternative ideas for gift giving. One gift giving project my family did for over a dozen years was drawing names with each other. There were five of us. We couldn't buy the present, we had to hand make it. My kids groaned at first, but it grew to be a special time for secrets and an imagination stretching experience. We still use the first present I ever received. My husband drew my name and on Christmas Eve we all presented our gifts to each other. I had to go outside to recieve mine. It was cold and snowy, but out we went, clomping down the slippery steps and I noticed right away the barnyard was lit up. I remember all five of us standing there in the cold dark looking up. On top the silo (a 60 foot storage bin) was a Christmas Star about four feet wide. It shone down on the whole countryside neighborhood. We've used our Christmas star for over twenty years now and it's my favorite Christmas ornament.
Spending money is not what Christmas is all about. It's about spending all right, spending time with family and friends, spending time reflecting on what's important in our lives. I spend time giving thanks and praise to the Almighty. I spend my energy prioritizing ~ what is really important to me? What do I want to do that's meaningful this Christmas? My answers vary, just as they do every Christmas.
What about you? What is meaningful for you this Christmas season?
Til next time ~
PS: The top picture is my granddaughter Kylie, the second is our Alex. They are singing at the church Christmas program! Another of my favorite things!