The best thing about Christmas is the wonderful traditions that form over the years. They are the things that keep Christmas magical even as we grow into adulthood, and I love that so many of the traditions from my childhood are still part of my celebration today.
This Christmas will be my first Christmas spent away from my home - and also my first Christmas without a visit to Temple Square in Salt Lake! Jeff and I will be spending Christmas with my brother and his family instead, and in planning our celebrations we got to examine our traditions and see what we want to recreate this year ourselves.
My very favorite Christmas tradition is simple - it's just singing together. This has always been the very best part of Christmas for me. After we eat our fancy dinner on Christmas Eve, after the dishes have been done, and after we sit and listen to my dad read the Christmas story we gather around the piano and do some serious (and sometimes not so serious) caroling. Instruments are brought out - everything from a triangle to my dad's high school trombone. We sing a variety of songs in English and Swedish - some of which we have developed exciting actions to go with over the years. (Our 12 Days of Christmas is the rowdiest version I've ever heard.)
My Dad took this last year during our singing.
While I think that the gifting aspect of Christmas is fun, I love traditions that don't involve presents - I think that they help make Christmas more meaningful and deeper. Plus there is the added bonus of Christmas still feeling like Christmas even when you have a lean year - or a lean life, if you are never-ending students like Jeff and I are. :)
Labels: Oh Brother - The Family Files