Our home has been filled with Christmas traditions for many years. Most were started …

Our home has been filled with Christmas traditions for many years. Most were started when Kaitlyn and Jordan were very little. For us, these traditions are part of something very unique and special and bring memories to our Christmas holidays over and over again. Here are a few customs that we hold dear to our hearts.

On Thanksgiving Eve, we start the preparations for trimming the Christmas tree. In the early years, there were no pre-lit trees. Jordan’s part was to string lots of lights and to make sure that they all worked properly. (In my book, there’s nothing worse than to have the tree decorated only to find half of the lights out.) When his task was completed, he’d retreat to the red leather couch and watch TV. I’m beyond thrilled as the real decorating would begin.

With Christmas music in the background, the boxes of ornaments are opened. Favored selections from my grandparent’s tree, and artwork by Kaitlyn and Jordan, are the first to adorn. A collection of “old-fashioned” Waterford ornaments have grown over the years, enough to fill two trees. Kaitlyn and I chat as we work, mutual enjoyment of each other’s company and precious time spent together. Treasured Christmas books are placed on the shelves next to the fireplace with anticipation of reading on those cold, snowy nights. A collection gathered since birth, for each of the children.

Besides the tree, a main decoration is brought out. The original box is worn and tattered, yet the contents inside has been preserved well. Lifting the lid, is a special nativity scene.

A gift, given to me by my mom, many years ago. Its significance is two-fold. The 1st Christmas is the most remembered in our home, the holiest of nights. It is also one of my most cherished possessions. A gift given at a time when there was very little to give. Mom gave “All That She Had.” and the nativity is well loved and cared for.

Traditions continue with the use of our Christmas dishes. Loved for their nostalgia and warm recollections of Christmas, the jolly pieces have a wintry motif. This simple ritual adds so much cheer at meals and replaces the everyday dishes long into January.

These are just a few of the many traditions here at “Christmas Village.” Whether you are a new family, or a family generation not related by blood, it doesn’t matter. Loving traditions new or old, can make a life-long impact and bring meaning to your celebrations, while creating a sense of belonging.

Last week, Kaitlyn and Jordan received their Christmas books by mail. The family tree is no longer decorated by them but many of the ornaments continue to adorn each of their trees. From NYS to California, the warmth and promise of traditions has given our family a connection even when we can’t be together.

Christmas blessings, Kathy

This year, the table will be set for all our family who won’t be home for Christmas.

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