Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Traditions

Those little feet that race down the stairs to see what Santa has left under the tree. How blessed we are to have those little feet!

We start our morning by going to Mass and the children are able to "wait" until after we visit baby Jesus to open their presents. A Christmas miracle in and of itself.

The wrapping paper wizzes through the air and the stockings come flying off the mantel, the squealing of delight replaces the carols that are now mere background noise. How beautiful and thrilling it is to live Christmas through children's eyes. But how do we keep them focused on the real reason why we wrap these gifts and sing Halleluia chorus?

Lest we forget today is a great birthday party? How could we go without singing happy birthday to our Savior and King?

When our children are little we have the great opportunity to start and continue traditions that have been passed down to us. We started one new tradition this year and have continued another, all to remind us why we are gathering and celebrating. Jesus!

This year, for Christmas dinner (the 24th) we decided to bring in a Polish tradition from David's ancestors. This year we shared Oplatki Christmas wafers before we began our Christmas meal. 

This is a moment when the family can "break bread" together using a wafer similar to the one used to for communion hosts only they are embellished with Christmas scenes. We broke the bread and then asked for forgiveness from one another for things we may have done to hurt each other. It is a beautiful way to welcome the child, Jesus. This allows us to clean out our hearts and homes, so to speak, in order to make room for the child Jesus who is to come later that evening.

Forgiveness is essential so that we can welcome the peace and joy of Christmas. Forgiveness is beautiful when done with humility and on the threshold of Jesus' birth.

The next tradition we have maintained for a few years now is that of making a birthday cake for Jesus and singing happy birthday to Him. This is a very simple way to remind ourselves and especially the children, why it is that we celebrate this joyous occasion. Just like any other birthday, we sit around a table and sing happy birthday, lit candles and all, to the One who has given us life and Salvation.

We also consecrated ourselves to the child Jesus before the image of the baby. What is more, fitting than to give your life to the little tiny baby who has come to give us new life?

May baby Jesus bring you all the tenderness, love and hope that only He can bring this  Christmas season. Happy birthday Jesus!

What traditions do you have to celebrate the birth of Our Lord?

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