Christmas Traditions New and Old


When Gary and I celebrated our first Christmas together 20 years ago, we had the same conversation as many other newlyweds. Which family traditions would we incorporate from each of our families into our new little family? Like most fellas, Gary was quite concerned about special foods that his momma had made for him as a boy. There was also the traditional Christmas Eve gift of new pajamas and preferably ones where all of the kids matched!!

In growing up, my mother was always big on holiday traditions. Christmas would just not seem like Christmas without her jelly cookies, homemade wreaths, and dozens upon dozens of treats that would be packed in wrapped shoe boxes and shared among the shut-ins in our community. My mom also enjoyed painting ceramics. Each Christmas, my brothers and I would receive a new Christmas ornament that she had hand-painted and then put our name and the year on the back. As our own family has grown with the birth of each of our children, Grandma Rucia’s jelly cookies and a hand painted ornament for each of the kids in their stockings have become an integral part of our Christmas.

With this new generation of Oaks, a wonderful blend of old and new has been incorporated into so many areas of our life. Christmas is no exception. Our new to this generation Christmas tradition is the addition of a new building or other item for Gary’s Christmas Village each year. He has always loved those little buildings all light up and placed upon a bed of snow. Our little village has grown with the interests of our family as the years have passed. As the kids and I choose each new item, it is always characteristic of something that has become important to our family. Some of the attractions of our little village are a church, a barn, an old fashioned schoolhouse, a family of carolers, snow covered evergreen trees, a farm house, and even a log cabin as a reminder of our first Christmas together in Alaska.


We haven’t chosen his new piece for 2012. Any suggestions?

What are your Christmas traditions that hold special meaning to your family? We would love to hear from you!!!

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4 Replies to “Christmas Traditions New and Old”

    1. We actually do have 1 cow, 1 sheep, 1 horse, 2 chickens, 2 chicks, and 2 pigs. So, maybe some herd and flock development would be good. This may also bring up the need for some fencing πŸ™‚

  1. Oh, Dawn! Just have to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your post this morning! Traditions are a big part of Christmas, and I loved reading how your traditions blended together when you and Gary started raising your family. I, too, grew up with a Christmas village. It was (and still is) one of my mother’s favorite traditions for the holiday. She places her village under her tree, and has a little wooden fence that runs around the perimeter, with a special string of lights that go into the tops of the fence posts. If I remember correctly, my grandpa made that fence many, many years ago, which has always made it more special to me. The little houses that were originally part of the village have been replaced over time with ceramics, but she still has the original Santa sleigh and pairs of reindeer as part of the scene. How about adding a bakery to your village this year, to represent the holiday treats that are part of the Christmas tradition? One of my favorite traditions is attending Christmas Eve candlelight service, and the singing of Silent Night by the congregation as the last song of the service, with only the glow of the candles illuminating the sanctuary as voices softly sing. It’s so beautiful!

    1. Christine,
      I had never thought of a bakery, but Gary just mentioned reserving Thursday afternoon as a family baking time for making all kinds of treats and pastries. Food is definitely the main thoroughfare to that man’s heart. We have also always loved Christmas Eve candlelight services with the service ending with the singing of Silent Night. Unfortunately, more and more churches are no longer having these services πŸ™ Guess we will just have to go out to the pastures and sing under the light of the moon with the lowing of cattle in the background πŸ™‚

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