Friday, December 23, 2011

Family Fun Night

What could be more fun than Christmas Eve?
Perhaps for your family it is Hanukkah, Ashura, Bodhi Day or Kwanzaa. There are many special or religious holidays in December from a variety of traditions. Even among the Christian faiths there are so many different traditions around the world and among different denominations. All these traditions share in common the desire to give people a way to connect to and express their internal values.

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All
Love, faith, hope, charity, and all that is good; these are the things that this season reminds me of. Our traditions help us pass these internal qualities and values on to our children. Every family has their own unique traditions; some open gifts on Christmas Eve and some on Christmas Morning. I remember the first time I realized that everyone doesn't do Christmas the same way, I was just a little girl and I was truly surprised that some people would open presents on Christmas Eve before Santa came.

My husband is from Australia, and they share gifts on Boxing Day, which is Dec. 26th. A few years ago I decided to do some research about how people celebrate December holidays around the world, and especially about the origins of various Christmas traditions that we see today. As I did this my daughter became quite interested, especially when she found the Swedish story of St. Lucia.
Throughout Sweden, the eldest daughter in each household comes to her sleeping parents on Christmas morning, dressed in a long white gown tied with a red sash, and wearing a crown of lingonberry leaves in which are set seven lighted candles. In her hands she carries a tray of steaming hot coffee and "Lussekattor" (saffron buns). The procession includes her sisters and brothers also dressed in white, holding lighted candles, and singing of the light and joy of Christmas.
So on that particular Christmas when my daughter was about 9, she decided that she had to be St. Lucia. She got her grandmother to help her with the dress and sash and creating the crown with candles. On Christmas morning they made biscuits, and hot coco instead of coffee. She wanted to surprise her brothers as well, so they were not part of the procession.

We were all sleeping in the guest room at my mother's house. Imagine our surprise waking up to our daughter with flames on her head, and a steaming tray in her hands, singing Christmas carols. Her older brother rolled on the floor laughing, and her baby brother began to cry. I was afraid that the flaming crown was going to fall off so I grabbed the tray to put it on the night stand.

It was her way of expressing love and creating a joyous Christmas spirit. (Thank God the house didn't burn down.) Feel free to share a special holiday tradition or story of your own in a comment below.

1 comment:

  1. she must be the light of you life!!! I am a new follower fromt the hop, pls follow back if you can.


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