Christmas Traditions You Can Share With Your Family
Being part of a family inevitably means there will be traditions passed down through the years. Many people share specific Christmas traditions with their family that they learned from their own families growing up.
But maybe you’re just beginning your Christmas holidays as a family and you don’t really have any traditions of your own yet. There are many popular traditions that you can pick from and make them a part of your own holiday traditions. There are traditions that are suitable for any age group.
One favorite holiday tradition in many families is making Christmas cards to send out. You can choose to send cards personalized with your own family photo and a poem or a few lines telling the receiver what they mean to you. If you don’t have the time to make Christmas cards, you can get store bought ones and add your own touch to them.
Another well-known holiday tradition is attending a church event together. Many churches have Christmas Eve services that are beautiful with all the decorations and the soft glow of candlelight. Many churches choose to pass on the live poinsettias they use in decorations on to the people who attend the service.
Young children can write letters to Santa and take it to the local post office. Some post offices have a special box set up just for letters from Santa. Kids can also get involved in decorating the Christmas tree and as you hang the ornaments on the tree, if there’s no history behind the ornaments, you can share bits of your history with your child or talk about the meaning of Christmas.
Putting up the tree can become a time of sharing conversation that children look forward to. You can start a tradition of listening to certain songs as you put up the tree. One family listened to Bing Crosby Christmas songs while putting up their tree over forty ago, then their grown children kept up the tradition and later passed it on to their children.
A well received tradition is the practice of dining by candlelight on Christmas Eve and afterward, each family member opens one gift. You’ll want to set aside a particular gift on Christmas Eve so that you’re not digging through the piles of gifts to find it.
After the gifts are open, gather together to sing Christmas songs. Christmas is filled with anticipation of the coming day and the days leading up to it should be celebrated just as much as the day is.
Most cities have Christmas parades or Christmas music shows that residents can attend. Make it a habit to attend one every year. The night before Christmas, begin the tradition of reading a Christmas book, sharing the Christmas story, or watching a much loved Christmas movie together. Whatever traditions you decide to incorporate into your family, you’ll be glad you did. It’ll make the holidays more meaningful and give everyone something to look forward to.
Heirloom Christmas Decorations You Can Pass Down Among Generations
We all have items that were given to us by our parents or grandparents that become very dear to our hearts. They’re treasures that we take care of and every time we see the item, it brings to mind the memories of special days from childhood or special times spent with the person. Many families have heirloom Christmas decorations that have been passed down since the early nineteen hundreds.
Heirloom gifts are like pieces of puzzle piecing one generation together with another. Some people didn’t come from families where Christmas decorations were passed down and everything you decorate with you purchased yourself.
If you don’t have that legacy, it’s not too late to start the tradition and it’ll have special meaning with your loved ones. You can start the tradition and give your own family something they’ll treasure and pass along to their family.
Heirloom Christmas decorations range from simple to elaborate from plentiful to rare finds. You can find something to give everyone you care about and giving heirloom gifts don’t have to be limited to family. If you have a friend you consider as close as family, you can give them Christmas gifts to start the same tradition and that’s a great gift idea.
Christmas ornaments that are carefully hand painted, numbered and signed by artists are one such decoration that can become an heirloom decoration. You can find these ornaments with Christmas scenes on them or they can be simple ornaments decorated with bright colors and bits of ornamental beads.
Another ornament good for collecting to pass down are the fragile mouth blown ones. These ornaments are finely made in such places as Italy, Germany, Poland, Egypt and other countries where the art itself is a tradition taught for centuries. Because they’re imported and because of the workmanship involved, these are at the high end as far as prices go.
You can also find treasured heirloom ornaments here in the United States that can become part of your family history. Some companies offer characters from children’s fairy tales as heirloom ornaments.
Heirlooms don’t have to be limited to be Christmas ornaments only. You can find books that can be heirloom gifts to pass down. There are Christmas dolls you can display around your home and then give to your family. There are Christmas quilts that are heirloom quilts, trains for the boys in your family.
If your children are already grown, you can still start the practice of giving them heirloom gifts, especially if you give them gifts done by a particular ornament creator or an artist. More than the object itself, these heirloom Christmas decorations are a way of preserving the love you have for family and friends throughout the years.
What Does a Chinese Christmas Include?
You don’t have to be Chinese to celebrate a Chinese Christmas and it can be a great way to teach children about other cultures. You can start small if you still want to have your own traditional Christmas, too. Just put up a separate tree in another room in the home and decorate it the way it’s done in China.
The Chinese have some similar traditions for Christmas like we celebrate here in the United States, but they also have different traditions that even symbolize the hopes of wealth for the coming year.
The foods served on a Chinese Christmas celebration are not what you find on most Christmas menus. Instead of the traditional turkey or ham such as is served here in America, a Chinese Christmas is celebrated with different foods.
The Chinese celebrate the holiday by making barbecued pork, rice and vegetables, and other meats like duck or chicken. Sometimes all three meats will be served as the meal is treated more like a banquet type feast rather than a simpler meal. Family, especially ancestors are very important to the Chinese culture and the holiday is celebrated with family.
Do children with a Chinese culture also delight in the festivities of Christmas Day? They sure do. Children are children the world over. They look forward to getting presents with the same starry eyed wonder that kids everywhere have.
They don’t call their Santa Claus by the name of Santa as we do. He’s known among the people as Dun Che Lao Ren. Chinese children put up stockings usually made from muslin in the hopes that their Santa will fill them to the brim.
For the tree, the Chinese culture usually dictates that an artificial tree is used rather than a live one and the tree isn’t decorated with balls or tinsel or the type of ornaments you find on a traditional Christmas tree. Instead, the tree decorated is filled with chains made from paper or flowers and lanterns, also made of paper, are hung on the tree.
Some kinds of fruit are thought to invoke the days to come to bring good fortune and increase wealth so for that purpose, you’ll often find oranges or tangerines situated around the home of those celebrating Christmas Chinese style.
Religion is also important to some when celebrating a Chinese style Christmas and for that purpose, many choose to attend a church service or mass on the night before Christmas.
Instead of sitting around a fire on Christmas Eve or celebrating by having a Christmas Eve dinner, Christmas Eve in China is viewed as more of an evening for singles. Christmas Eve is celebrated among the dating couples with gifts that have romantic meaning.