The elements of Christmas are as varied as the people that celebrate it.
We all have different ways in which we celebrate Christmas and the ways we celebrate today can be different from how it was celebrated as a child.
As a child I remember the Christmas pageants and plays at church and school. We would be home on Christmas Eve, getting to bed early so Santa could make his stop (even though it was so difficult to fall asleep). I remember running down the stairs with my brother to see a tree full of Christmas presents to open.
After the presents were opened, breakfast was had and then everyone put on their Christmas best to head over to Grandma’s house for a big celebration with all the Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. The house was packed! (Having parents with 9 and 10 siblings made for a lot of relatives!)After a huge feast, the adults would talk and the cousins would play with all their new toys that they were allowed to bring from home.
Today, our Christmas is celebrated with our family on Christmas Eve (so our kids can celebrate on Christmas day with the in-laws). I am now the “Grandparent” house where people gather. Christmas Eve dinner is made up of various buffet foods and goodies. After dinner, the kids gather by the tree (not as many cousins attending as I had) to receive presents as Grandma reads the names off the tags. Calls (or Skype) are received from those afar. At times, Midnight mass is attended or Christmas mass in the morning. (gets harder to stay up late as the years creep up on you!) Christmas Day is spent quietly enjoying old movies and a warm blanket.
The activities are somewhat different over the years, but the feelings of family, friends, and love continue on.
This Christmas where ever you may be, with a crowd or alone, reflect on the meaning of Christmas to you, the meaning of love….love for yourself, love for your family and friends, love for a stranger. Think of something that warms your heart and puts a smile on your face.
Leave a comment of your favorite Christmas tradition or memory from the past or present. Have a very Merry Christmas!
~Cheryl Pastor, Social Media Specialist