Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Traditions

We've spent quite a lot of time lately thinking about and discussing Christmas traditions over the past couple of days and I think it's been quite productive. We've been thinking very carefully about what it is we're trying to celebrate and hold important and how we want to build that into our family. It has all become much more imminent to discuss, now that we have a Little One for whom we want to create a family routine. So far, we've come up with a couple of traditions to set in place:
Tradition #1: head west to pick out and cut down our own Christmas tree. 
We did this first last year in the -40 degree "crispness." This year was much, much warmer and equally as fun. I can't wait til next year when E can participate in the jollity to a greater extent.
Tradition #2: attend Christmas Eve service. 
I often attended a candle light service growing up, where each person got their own candle to light and hold, and the flickering mix of darkness and light always filled me with awe. Last year we went to a Midnight service downtown Calgary and that was also very precious and meditative time, our last Christmas as "two."
Tradition #3 (not quite clearly thought out yet): extend the holiday.
Last year we considered drawing Christmas out to the "twelve days"--that is, the days between Christmas Eve and Epiphany in January. This year we're celebrating Advent, the four weeks prior to Christmas. We want to draw focus away from simply celebrating Christmas Eve/Day somehow.

And more: we're always interested in hearing about other people's traditions. What do you do as a family to celebrate St. Nicholas/Christmas Eve/Christmas Day/Epiphany/12 Days of Christmas or any combination of the above?

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