Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Past

 A Bit of Me(Me) is hosted by Danielle of There's a Book.

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to revisit some of my favorite family holiday traditions. If you don't care to stroll down someone else's memory lane, you can skip right by this post and I won't mind. But, here are a few of the things my family did growing up that I hope to do when I have kids of my own:

The big thing for our obviously Christian family was reenacting the Nativity.  My parents have been doing this for a long time.  Our Nativity over the years:

Here's the first photo I could find - it was probably not too easy to fill all the parts with less than four children:

It was always fun to have a "baby" to play Jesus, though this one was a bit big for the part of a newborn.

And of course with old cameras and young children, it was hard to get a good photo.

Add another child and they're starting to have enough to fill the parts!

My older sisters used to fight every year over who could be Mary.  That's when my father starting keeping track of who played her each year so the four girls would each get a turn (at this point I haven't arrived on the scene yet).

Note the awesome beard my oldest brother is wearing.  This was obviously before the time it became known as the "pee beard" for its funny smell and no one would consider touching it. 

I was pretty disappointed to discover my parents hadn't printed any of the photos of my first Christmas, when I got to be the baby. Instead, I present my second Christmas participating in the Nativity (though you can see I probably didn't participate, since I'm not in costume).

You can see a gap in the years since that last one, but a definite improvement in photo quality.  This is also about the time my older siblings started disappearing sporadically from the scene.

My sister discovers the joys of sporting a beard:

And the introduction of the sheep hat, a favorite costume item:

I'm particularly fond of this year, since we finally convinced my parents to participate (my mom usually read the Bible story and my dad filmed it).  Also a favorite is my sister's even more excellent beard made from her own hair.

Not our most recent Nativity, but one of my favorite later ones was the year we had three babies to participate.  It was a fun year. 

I'm definitely hoping I get to keep up this tradition with my family!

There's lots of other things my family used to do (and some they still do) like singing Christmas songs around the piano and having Christmas morning brunch.  But since this post is already too long, I thought I'd just give a shout out to the awesome candy-making my mom has passed on to me:


Christmas isn't Christmas without the candy.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

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  1. I couldn't help grinning through each of those pictures! I love it! All of the fun things our family traditions get us involved in. So fun!

    Oh, and candy! Yum! I'm not a huge candy maker, but definitely a cookie and other sweets maker. Especially around the holidays. And it's really funny to think that those things are SUCH a huge part of the holiday, they truly are traditions. Wouldn't be the same without them!

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. 1stdaughter, thanks for enjoying the photos - not sure most people would even care. I definitely have to make candy every year - one of my favorite things about the holidays (well, one of my materialistic and non-essential favorites anyway :)

  3. One of my favorite traditions is when my aunt travels to Woodlawn, near Baltimore to get pastries from Louise's Bakery. She comes back with boxes of danishes, bowties, occasional chocolate tops, and other delights. It's so exciting, because you know that when the desserts arrive, you're on the very edge of Christmas day.

    One more tradition was from my old church, where, for Christmas Eve, we sang Christmas hymns, and gathered around the dark sanctuary with lit candles in hand. Due to this experience, Christmas Eve always seemed to me to be the night to celebrate Christ's birth, and have festivities the next morning.

  4. LOVE those pictures! They look so familiar! :) In mine I would be the oldest and always holding the baby! We have continued this tradition with my husband's family but we may be bagging it since it's all teenage boys now and it's getting hard to make them participate!

  5. Lauren, those sound like great traditions! I love the pastries and the gathering with candles.

    Suey, we haven't done it with my nieces and nephews much because of the lack of participation (and the general naughtiness :)


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