The year Anika was born, we did not have a Christmas tree.
She was only two months old at Christmas, and I felt a little overwhelmed about facing the holidays with a new baby.
On top of that, my family was going through a rough time, and it was sucking all energy, motivation, and Christmas cheer right out of me.
So we skipped the Christmas tree.
And Christmas still happened.
It was possible to have a pretty good Christmas, anyway.
But I don’t want to go without a tree again. I know that Christmas isn’t about the tree, and the presents, and all that stuff, but as a kid, there was so much magic in all of those traditions. My mom was always great with the little details.
I have so very many memories of all those fun things we used to do at Christmas – pink popcorn, my Grandma’s fudge recipe, decorating our extremely color-coordinated Christmas tree, our wooden manger scene.
Now that I have children of my own, I have two goals each Christmas:
1) To teach them exactly why we celebrate Christmas.
2) To fill their lives with as many magical memories as I carry with me from my own childhood.
My magical memories all have to do with the little things – the traditions that were special for our family, and all the little details that made it feel like home. A candlelight fried chicken Christmas dinner from Chicken Delight, accompanied by my mom’s favorite instrumental Christmas music…. Opening presents on a Sunday, and ONLY once it was dark outside!
Ben and I have our own traditions now, and our Christmas looks a bit different. I love that. Our way of celebrating is unique to our family. Everybody has their own way, and it doesn’t seem to matter much what the traditions are, just as long as they get done each year!
It isn’t the big pleasures that count the most; it is making a great deal out of the little ones. (Anonymous)
What are your favorite Christmas traditions?