It is crazy to think Christmas is only a couple of weeks away. I always get excited whenever Christmas rolls around because that is when our Christmas traditions start. What are your Christmas traditions? Here at the Joye house we put our own little spin on the traditions that are usually done for fun. The top three traditions that are my favorites are wrapping presents, decorating for Christmas, and watching our favorite Christmas movies.
Starting two years ago I decided to volunteer to do all the wrapping of our Christmas gifts. Years of me watching my mom wrap our gifts prepared me for wrapping gifts myself. As you may recall from a previous blog, I can use only one hand, which you would think would limit my gift-wrapping abilities. However, recently I found a way to wrap a gift with one hand—and not just with gift bags either! I have gotten better at wrapping after these past few Christmases. I can’t wait to see how my wrapping skills turn out on this year’s gifts. My mom says my wrapping is now her favorite new tradition.
One of the old traditions we have is everyone has a certain job to decorate our home with beautiful Christmas decorations, some old and some new. My favorite thing to decorate is our small, 3-foot tree that goes in our living room on a table. We used to have a 9-foot tree for many years, but that was back when both my sisters were at home to help decorate. These days, as my brother and I set up and decorate our smaller tree, mom sets up the nativity scene as she has always done and tells the story of Jesus’s birth one figurine at a time.
One of our fairly new traditions is making gingerbread houses out of Poptarts. My two older sisters went all out this year! Also, this year we made brownies from scratch using my mom’s old recipe from her childhood, and then we shaped and decorated them like little Christmas trees. We cut the brownies in a triangle shape with part of a candy cane as the tree trunk, then used green icing in a zigzag pattern, and topped it with three red M&M candies to be the ornaments. It was tasty, and I cannot wait until next year to make Christmas tree brownies again.
Another tradition we have is to watch every movie on our list of must-watch Christmas movies. Some have been on our list for years, and one was added this year. To kick off our series, on Thanksgiving we watch Miracle On 34th Street, which is my brother’s favorite movie to watch, but then it will be Christmas movies there on out. The first of many are Home Alone, The Year Without A Santa Claus and It’s A Wonderful Life. New this year is The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. But those are the movies I like to watch every time after Thanksgiving day. My mom adds Love Actually and A Christmas Story to her list, and my dad adds Die Hard.
Seeing all the decorations put up makes me excited for Christmas. Also, I cannot wait to see how full the tree will be with all the presents around it. By Christmas day, we will have seen all our favorite movies and really be in the Christmas spirit. However, these do not distract us from the real spirit of Christmas—Jesus’ birthday. Aside from all these family traditions, celebrating the birth of Jesus is the best part of Christmas.