Saturday, December 18, 2004

Holiday Traditions

As promised, here are some holiday traditions that Wild Banshee and friends have decided to share with our family of readers here on Banshee Blog. If you're a frequent visitor to this blog, you will probably recognize some of these names because they have all been steady commenters and contributors to this site.

Tina: Tina will be celebrating her second Christmas as a married woman. Her new family of two has adopted a lofty holiday goal. It is their hope to get a Christmas tree from every different state in the Union. Thus far, they have hit Maryland and Deleware. This will certainly be a tough goal to accomplish, but if anyone can do it, I think it is Tina and Chris. One thing is for certain, they will have fun traveling in search of the perfect tree each year.

David: David said that each year his large family gathers for a few days at home. At some point during that visit, they make time to sit down together. Each person shares their prayer requests for the new year. Throughout the year, the family then prays for these requests. David said that it is very encouraging at the end of each year to see how the Lord has worked through the prayers of the family.

David shared a second tradition. Nearly 30 years ago, David's maternal grandmother stocked up on 100,000 square feet of red and white, candy-striped, wrapping paper. Each year since then, Santa's gifts have arrived wrapped in that particular paper that his family now associates with Santa alone.

Sherrah: Sherrah said that in her family, her father cooks Christmas breakfast for her mother and the four girls out on the grill. Potatoes, skillet fried eggs and peppered bacon. I have known Sherrah's family my entire life, and I know that any time her father cooks, it is a time of flavor and of joy.

Mimi: Mimi comes from a large family. Growing up, almost all of the presents under the tree were for all the kids to share. But, Mimi remembers that each kid had their own stocking, and the presents inside were for that kid alone. Mimi particularly remembers getting an orange in the toe of her stocking. She said that even though it was the same each year, every time it was special to find that citrus treat.

Mimi also remembers experiencing her first candlelight Christmas Eve service as a teenager. At that time, she was struck by the beauty of a congregation singing with only candles lighting the sanctuary. Mimi has been to a candlelight Christmas Eve service nearly every year since that time.

Wild Banshee: In my family, we bought a new Christmas ornament for the family each year. We also got ornaments for me and my sister. We tried to get ornaments that commemorated something important that happened in that year. New houses. Trips to Disney. Starting school. Driver's licenses. Then when it came time to decorate the tree, Daddy would pull the ornaments out one at a time, and we would all remember the event commemorated by the ornament. Now my sister and I each have a box of ornaments to take with us as we start our own holiday traditions in our own households.

Another tradition in the Banshee's family is the decorating Santa. I am not entirely sure when this tradition started, but I am sure that I don't remember the Christmases that preceeded it. Each year while my sister and I slept, Santa would do something to redecorate the tree and the presents beneath it. One year it was animal balloons. Another year there was a bird theme. And, this tradition has continued into adulthood. I believe it was just a year or two ago that there was a snow theme, complete with fluffly white puffs starting at my bedroom door and leading downstairs to the tree.