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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Family Christmas Traditions

Our family hates Christmases that start too early. Department stores starting up Christmas in September? No thanks! We avoid department stores altogether in favor of a much simpler, and more authentic, Christmas.

We start off the Christmas season on December 6 (or thereabouts) with St. Nicholas Day, whenever we can. That's the day we try to get our tree. We have a tree-decorating party complete with cookies and egg nog, and after all that we turn out all the lights except the ones on the tree and sing Christmas carols. It's something we all look forward to, and we usually all feel like Christmas is here once we've had our party.

For gifts, we've stuck with the tradition we started when we first moved to Portland. You can read about it here. We only buy locally-made, handmade gifts, preferably from the person who made it so we can actually meet him/her. We love our tradition and are happily on the third year.

Last night we began to read A Christmas Carol, another tradition we started some years back. It only has five staves, or chapters, though they are a bit longish. You can read it in five readings very easily. The story reminds us of the poor and the real meaning of Christmas. I highly recommend it!

And finally, we keep our Christmas tree up until Epiphany, the Baptism of Christ. The "Christmas Season" is really supposed to be the 12 days between Christmas and Epiphany, so we celebrate it until then.

This year we'll also be doing Christmas caroling, which we don't do every year but I like to do it when we can. Our choir is going out on Sunday to sing for shut-ins.

Here's wishing all who celebrate Christmas a peaceful, simple, celebration of the Nativity. Merry Christmas!


Mimi said...

Awesome traditions! Enjoy!

ElizO said...

I love this tradition; what a great idea. We tend to do a lot of practical stuff for Christmas that the kids would get anyway--socks, underwear, school supplies, books, etc.--but I like the idea of reducing the clutter of the day to just one special thing that is really meaningful, and let the practical stuff just come in throughout the year as needed. This does seem like a nicer approach than (apparently) stopping the acquisition of practical stuff for a few months before Christmas so I can hoard it and give it all at once as Christmas presents.