I'm combining my Thursday Thirteen list with Carl's G.I.F.T. (Giving Inspiration, Fostering Tradition) challenge. The challenge is giving of yourself for the shared edification and inspiration of others. Your favorite Christmas movie, story, song, etc. may just inspire others to try it out. At the very least we will share in your joy and enthusiasm as you give us a glimpse into who you are by sharing memories, traditions, and favorites.
This is entry 2 out of 4 for this challenge. Parts of this post have been posted previously in a meme. Sorry for the repetition.
1. We decorate our tree with colored lights and the hand carved ornaments that my husband did for the kids when they were younger. As the kids have grown and moved out, they have taken their ornaments with them, but we still have the carved stars that he made for me.
2. Every year each child, and now grandchildren, get a new Christmas ornament. They used to be carved, but now they are bought.
3. In my husband's and my family we buy gifts for one of the other siblings and rotate through the family year after year. In my family we used to draw names for the cousins to exchange presents, but that's fallen by the wayside since so many are married and moved to the far reaches of the US.
4. Every December, after all the family members in town have their trees up, we do a progressive dinner, moving from house to house for the next part of the dinner. That way we make the rounds and enjoy the Christmas spirit in each other homes.
5. At my house we try to watch the movie Scrooge starring Albert Finney.
6. We celebrate the joy of light during the darkest days of the year with a Danish tradition I read about years ago. I don't remember the real word, but over the years it's become known to us as Who Goolie. We turn on the tree lights and light all the candles in the living room. All other lights are off. We sing carols, retell stories and cuddle lots.
7. In addition to the Who Goolie we do in the living room, we do traveling Who Goolies. We pick up my mother and drive around the valley seeing all the lights and decorations. I love to think about the light of Christ chasing off the darkness and that all the decorative lights are symbolic of that.
8. Since I was just tiny and, probably before I was born, we have held a special family night on Christmas eve to celebrate the season of Christ's birth. I'm almost 56 and we still get together at my mom's home on Christmas eve. We all bring a dish and share a wonderful, festive dinner. Then there's a program that includes the story of Christ's birth with lots of songs thrown in. After the program we open presents to and from Grandma and our sibling exchange present.
9. Once back to our house on Christmas eve, each of our children open one present. It's always pajamas! My parents did the same thing with their children.
10. Our daughter, husband and the 2 grandchildren live right behind us, so on Christmas morning we wait for the call alerting us that the children are awake. Then we hurry through the gate and in the back door to enjoy what Santa has brought to them. Then we come back over here and enjoy our Santa presents.
11. Before opening wrapped presents, I slip into the kitchen and throw together a healthy breakfast casserole of eggs, sausage, and croutons that bakes for 50 min.
12. While breakfast is cooking, we take turns opening presents. Just as we're sitting back with a delighted sigh and the suggestion of hunger working its way into our thoughts, the buzzer in the kitchen rings. We gather around the table for breakfast casserole, grapefruit, juice and toast.
13. We enjoy the morning together, then start out on a traveling caravan that goes from one family members home to the next. At each stop we pick up more members for the caravan. Eventually we end up at my mother's house where we share pots of soup we've all made a couple days before Christmas. My sister makes a birthday cake. We sing Happy Birthday to our Savior and thank Him for all our blessings.