Christmas is my favorite holiday. As a child, there was always something magical about this time of year. Spending time with family, putting up a Christmas tree, decorations at church…I knew that every year, I would get to spend time at both of my grandparents’ houses with all of my extended family and eat a ton of delicious food.
One of my grandmas was a wonderful cook. Her side of the family was Hungarian, and she made everything from scratch. I can still remember great big containers filled with sausages, mounds of different sides, and So. Many. Pies!
My other grandma wasn’t a great cook. Mom jokes that Grandma is the reason she likes everything well done, but it’s kind of true. The thing I remember loving best at that set of grandparent’s house on Christmas was the huge family gathering. There would be cousins that I didn’t see often throughout the year, and a lot of the family would be in their Detroit Lions gear. Most of the time, there would be a game on that all the men watched in the living room, and I would sit out in the kitchen with my aunts and chit-chat.
As an adult, the magic of Christmas has shifted, and it’s all about the magic I create for my own kids. Being a special needs family has necessitated changing our traditions somewhat since large gatherings are hard for some of them, but we still have a few that we enjoy.
Our most important tradition is spending Christmas Eve at our church, where we have a candlelight service every year. When the kids were younger, it was always a little stressful making sure there were no mishaps with the candles, but praise God, now that they’re older, I can focus on singing “Silent Night” and being grateful for the gift of our Savior.
Another tradition we have takes place after the Christmas Eve service. We come home, and all of my kids open one gift. They know the gift is always pajamas, but they’re excited to open them anyway. For a while, they came from our Elf on the Shelf, Sparkle. I must confess, I’m VERY happy that I don’t have to keep up with Sparkle anymore. I used to forget to move that elf all. the. time. There are only so many good excuses for why the elf didn’t move for days. Oof.
And before you laugh at me for not setting a reminder up on my phone, my oldest daughter is a legitimate genius, and the one time I tried, she found out about it and wanted to know why I had a reminder about Sparkle on my phone. Kids. LOL
Once the kids are all in their new pajamas, we take pajama pics, and each year, the kids sing a Christmas song they chose that I record so I can post it to my personal social media as a Christmas card for my family and friends. We’ve had some years where they even got instruments involved! As they get older, I wonder every year whether this will be the last year of our Christmas song, but so far, they’ve been happy to keep that tradition going. I have pictures and videos from every year since they were old enough to learn a song to sing!
Christmas traditions played an important part in my novella, A Christmas Blessing. Since they’re so important to me, I wanted a character who would embody that same spirit of Christmas that I love so much. Parker is one of my favorite heroes, and I absolutely adore how he took what was a difficult time of year for his love interest, Lauren, and made it into something just as meaningful for her.
I keep the Kindle version of my Christmas novella at the low cost of $.99 (or its equivalent in other markets) year-round as my gift to my readers, and as with all of my books, it is free to read on Kindle Unlimited. You can find it here!
So, tell me some of your favorite Christmas traditions in the comments.