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Friday, December 23, 2011

Hallowed Traditions Spark Togetherness

Christmas Eve was a special time for my family. Coming from a Scandinavian heritage, it was a time to open presents, visit with Santa Clause (a kind neighbor down the street), and afterward enjoy a scrumptious dinner of turkey, ham, and all of the trimmings.

New Pastel -- "Maestro"

Since my husband’s family celebrated on Christmas day, this worked out well for us. We had a large dinner Christmas Eve and another one on Christmas day. The in-laws were not offended, and we could spend time with both families.

After our dinner and the opening of “one present” each, we put on our bathrobes and wound towels on our heads for turbans. Everyone in the family had a part. The youngest always played the baby Jesus. We read the Biblical story of the birth of Jesus and acted out each scene.

An Open Book

The children enjoyed saying their parts and dressing up in costume. It became a tradition. As they grew into awkward and silly teenagers, our tradition soon changed to a simple reading of the scripture, but the message and the feelings remained the same: the hallowed birth of God’s son.

Playing Dress-Up

Family traditions help shape and strengthen the bonds of love. Without them, families hurriedly go their own way secluding themselves in their own rooms with their ipads and phones connecting to the outside world instead of with each other.

A new kind of loneliness is eroding families; an isolation that happens even in the midst of holiday chaos and fun. A feeling of being separate and apart. Reach out this Christmas and tell those close to you how much they mean to you, even if they don’t. Take someone’s hand or place a hand on a shoulder and say: “I love you.”

Dainty Diva

God is love. What better way to celebrate his birth than offering our love to others.