Christmas Snapshots, Part Two

Christmas is almost here! Enjoy a quick break from your many activities (including last-minute shopping, anyone?) and read about some of our authors’ favorite Christmas memories and traditions.

“To help focus my children on the real meaning of Christmas, I put a slip of paper that lists an activity in each pocket of the advent calendar. The activities are things like Red and Green Day, Luke 2 day, Candy Cane Day, Wise Man Day, etc. We do fun activities that center around the theme of the day and focus on the meanings behind the traditions.

The Hedlund family on Wise Man Day.

The Hedlund family on Wise Man Day.

“For example, on Red and Green Day we eat red and green foods and wear red and green clothes, but we also talk about what red stands for (the blood of Jesus shed for our sins) and green (the new life he gives us). For Luke 2 day, we get out our nativity set along with reading Luke 2 (the birth of Jesus). The entire month of advent activities is something my kids look forward to every year and makes the Christmas season more about Jesus and less about us.”

Jody Hedlund, author of Love Unexpected

MateerCookies“One of our most treasured traditions is making Christmas cookies with all the cousins. My mother still hosts this event at her house, with the 10 grandchildren that live in the US all in attendance, even though four of them are now in their 20s! After rolling the dough, cutting out the shapes and baking the cookies, every kid decorates as many or few as they want. Nana and Papa get to keep one from each grandchild, but the rest are taken to their homes to enjoy. Such a fun time to gather with family in the midst of our busy lives!”

Anne Mateer, author of Playing by Heart

“When I was a child, my family always spent Christmas at my grandparents’ house. All the kids would wake up early and rush to the living room to see what was under the tree. However, we were never allowed to unwrap anything until the adults were up and breakfast was eaten. The one thing we were allowed to dig into was our stockings, where we discovered fun new toys and candy and activity books to keep us entertained. When my husband and I discussed which Christmas traditions to hand down to our own kids, stockings were at the top of my list. I love to cross-stitch, so I cross-stitched stockings for Wes and I and for each of our children before their first Christmas, making the tradition even more meaningful. I still get a thrill when I rush out to the living room and see what “Santa” put in my stocking. It’s my favorite part of Christmas morning.”

Karen Witemeyer, author of Full Steam Ahead

The Witemeyer mantle.

The Witemeyer mantle.

“Christmas of 1994 loomed as possibly my saddest holiday ever. Since my husband and I were expecting our first child in early January, we couldn’t travel home to see my family, and they had decided to wait and visit once the baby was born. Then on December 18th, when I saw a beautiful new baby girl at our church Christmas party, I declared, ‘I want my baby in time for Christmas.’

Christmasbaby

 

“My wonderful daughter, Christiana Rose, complied immediately, and I went into labor late that night. She was born three weeks early, perfect, and she made it home in plenty of time for Christmas.”

Dina Sleiman, author of Dauntless

Your turn: what is a Christmas that stands out in your mind because of something special that happened?

2 thoughts on “Christmas Snapshots, Part Two

  1. One for me that stands out because of special memories is the one I was expecting our first child. My husband was in the Marines and they offer extra leave days for those willing to take their holiday leave after Christmas and so we took advantage of that. We left SC on the 26th in a little Pinto car planning on being back in a month. So cat and all in the car. We had car trouble in NC and found the most wonderful people who actually fixed our car at their house in the middle of the night.

    They fed us, put me to bed and worked for several hours to make sure we were on our way safely the next morning. But that was not the end of the ministry to us by strangers.

    Our car broke again in Virginia and once again complete strangers took us in, fed us, help us reach safety and they even made sure we were put up in a hotel as the car was not an easy fix. They helped us get the bus tickets that we needed to finally make it home and they made sure our car and cat were safe until we could come get the car.

    Now family and friends are not involved and no long standing traditions were born that Christmas so many years ago, but I really did relate to Mary that year. There are things about those travel days that are not so great, but it is one of those stories my kids and grandkids have asked about.

  2. The one that stands out most to me was Christmas day 1958 when a baby girl was born to me in the middle of the day. so exciting and she has always like sharing her birthday with baby Jesus. Gained a new child that day but missed Christmas with my two older babies.

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