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Family Traditions of Christmas! Merry Christmas!

Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world.  ~Susan Lieberman

Yes another Christmas!

Kyle with his Lego Deathstar Aunt Heather Piper
Kyle all smiles with his Lego Death Star (courtesy of Aunt Nikki) 12/24/11

In the Piper household, Christmas is simply a time to come together, eat and sit on the couch and watch movies, like most families.  We were always, and have always been comfortable just being around one another, no expectations, just being.  And this year was no exception.

Everyone has their own family traditions, or at least I hope so.  I know a friend of mine, MarthaaaFish has a tamale tradition, which really intrigues me and one day I want to partake.  Of course we have food traditions that have remained constant over the years, but I guess as a kid that never really resonated with me as much as… yep you guessed it, gifts.  When I was really little mom always gave us a gift from her and dad on Christmas Eve, which happened to be new pajamas.  Probably so we would look presentable for Christmas morning pictures.  Santa’s gifts came in the morning.  Then after church we would go to my grandparents house.  It was really a great childhood memory that I think of every now and again.  There always seem to be snow on the ground, and by the time we’d make it to my grandparents house on the ridge, there were heaping piles of white fluffy snow all over the place.  It was truly magical!

Since my grandfathers passing things changed.  We started to go to church on Christmas eve and it became the day to celebrate and Christmas day became a relaxing time of people coming and going.  Nothing was etched in stone, ate whenever you felt like it, people came over periodically and we each made our own agenda, that is until Kyle.

Now coming around to the present, we’ve started a new tradition while adapting an old.  Christmas was always great in the Piper household, but having a child to share the Christmas spirit made it more enjoyable and exciting, and still does.  Especially from the time Kyle was old enough to appreciate the old traditions and somehow partake in the new ones forming and crystallizing over the years.  Now-a-days, we start Christmas Eve morning off, usually at 5ish in the morning with opening of a single gift.  Our thinking was to let Kyle enjoy one gift before moving to the next, spending the entire day in a gift opening and playing pattern.  This year maintained the same tradition, but instead of Kyle going home for Christmas, he spent the night with me and my family.  He even crawled in bed with me to retire for the night.  Although I couldn’t get his chatter to go on lunch break, but I didn’t mind.  It was fun waking up to Kyle and wishing him a Merry Christmas at 5:30ish in the morning.  Not to mention him waking up to his new itouch I got him this year.

Kyle in cemetery visiting his dad - Aunt Heather Piper
Kyle helping to decorate Ryan's headstone. 12/23/11

One tradition that came into being started 10 years ago.  We stop by the cemetery and decorate Ryan’s plot with a wreath and visit his burial site, if only for a few minutes.  It sounds sad and depressing, but on the contrary it’s very soothing and helps to make the holidays more complete.  This year, we stopped by on Friday, two days before Christmas.  The action of going to the cemetery has become the tradition but the day various every year.  Some years, the great ones with snow, we can’t get to his headstone and get there well in advance.  This year there was no fear that, since it has been raining all week, very bittersweet.

There is so much more to our Christmas traditions, old and new, but maybe I’ll touch on that later.  Merry Christmas!!

Published inChurchFamilyMilestoneObservation & ImaginationReminiscing

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