Christmas has always been steeped in tradition. From generation to generation traditions have been handed down, enhanced or adapted. You may recall some traditions from your childhood which you have continued with your children and grandchildren. Since Americans are part of the melting pot our traditions are a blending of our roots and heritage. I thought it would be nice to list some of the more popular Christmas traditions, but not in any particular order.
Make a Christmas countdown calendar
Make and decorate a gingerbread house
Visit a tree farm to select your Christmas tree
Put up the crib and decorate the tree as a family unit
Write letters to Santa and send Christmas cards to friends and family
Make a paper chain garland or string popcorn
Create homemade ornaments and decorate Christmas stockings
Light up your walkway/driveway with handmade luminaries
Stencil or paint Christmas pictures on windows with washable paint
Bake and decorate cookies consider sharing them with elderly neighbors and shut-ins
Make gift jars of cookie mix1
Have a wrapping party Go Christmas Caroling Attend a Live Nativity Take a walk or drive at night to enjoy the Christmas lights Watch Christmas videos or read a Christmas story
Create a Christmas music playlist
Wear matching holiday pajamas
Take an annual Christmas photo in front of the tree
Make mischief with an Elf on the Shelf
Set up a Christmas Eve hot cocoa bar2
Donate clothing and toys to needy children
Volunteer, as a family, for the local shelter or nursing home.
Make and deliver your own Christmas cards to shut-ins
Invite an older person/couple for a holiday meal Help sort food for a food pantry that does food baskets for the holiday. Make up a Christmas scavenger hunt or find the Christmas pickle3
Share Christmas memories by looking through your photo albums and scrapbooks.
Attend a Church service together4
My favorites in greater detail:
1. Cookie mix layered in a jar: There are many, many recipes for cookie mix layered in a mason jar. They are great for gift-giving and really fun to make. My favorite is the chocolate chip cookie. Check out these online recipes which also include some brownie recipes: http://allrecipes.com/recipes/843/holidays-and-events/christmas/food-gifts/cookie-mix-in-a-jar/.
2. Hot Cocoa Bar: Create your bar as simple or as elaborate as you chose by designating a spot in your kitchen and setting out all the fixings, such as hot cocoa packets, marshmallows, chocolate chips, candy canes, toffee bits, caramel sauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, cookies, whipped cream, sprinkles, chocolate syrup, and for adults: Kahlua, Baileys, Buttershots, etc. Don’t forget the hot water or warm milk and mugs or disposable cups.
3. Christmas Pickle: A decoration in the shape of a pickle is hidden on a Christmas tree, with the finder receiving either a reward or good fortune for the following year.
4. Church Service: Go to a special Christmas Eve church service, which is complete with beautiful Christmas music which usually beginning a half an hour before the church service. If your church does not offer a special service it may be a good time to visit one of the local churches.
All in all, Christmas traditions differ from family to family yet they are all similar in the fact that they pay respect to and honor for the birth of the infant baby Jesus. Of course the best holiday traditions are the ones that bring a family together and unites them in His love. May He grant you countless blessings this Christmas and throughout the coming year. Merry Christmas everyone!
The Versailles Savings & Loan has again offered to match monetary donations up to $1,000 to the local food pantry. Therefore the Versailles Council of Churches is requesting your donation by either dropping it off at the Versailles Savings & Loan or mailing your check to PO Box 92, Versailles, OH 45380. Make checks payable to the Versailles Council of Churches.
NEW YEARS EVE: You can start making your local plans for New Year’s Eve; the Versailles Vets Club (downstairs) will have open to the public “Karaoke with Orville” beginning at 9 p.m., The Versailles Eagles will have a member’s only dance with music by Moose.
Birthday wishes to Doug Ahlers, Rick Alexander, Floyd Monnin, Pat Wright, Ken Kremer, Robert Condon, Ann Pedersen, Carol Schuh, Madonna McEldowney, Jill Grillot, Kelly Fliehman, Karen Koverman, Larry Martino, Traci Monnin, Heidi Gilmore, Joe Bulcher, Heather Midlam, Elaine Meyer, Ryan Lundvall, Kim Fugett, Donna Wagner, Diana Schlater, Harold McKnight, Courtney Pulfer, Bryan Shafer, Kevin Henninger, Kyle Wentworth, Lance Bartram, Lori Zirkle, Madelyn Knapke, Shane McGlinch, Fred Brewer, Roger Oliver, Tony Paulus, Esther Eiting, Jessie Barga, Casey Shaner, Mary Ann Grilliot, Matt Magoto, Karen Bensman, Cindy Shadoan, John Grogean, Tammy Magoto, Bill Todd, Cindy Hollingsworth, Dan Brown, Bill Gantt, Deb Brown, Alvin Grilliot, Caitlin Moody, Allison Rene Hoening, Leslie Phlipot, Marie Todd and Baby Jesus as their birthdays approach. Anniversary wishes to Matt and Emily Barton (4) and Toni and Sam Custer (37).
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially for Beverly Brown, Cyril Frantz, Denny Subler, Tom Barga, Wanda Romie, Terry Buteau, Jack Borgerding, Tyler DeMange, Kim Smith (hip), David Nixon (knee), Esther Eiting (hip), Kathy “me” Magoto (hip), Paul Marshal, Ed Bulcher, Jane Huber, Aiden Meyer, Sylvester Meyer, Earl Gigandet, Madison Berger, Tony Gehret, Martha Treon, Terry and Donna Black, Tim Bayless, Jim and Pooch Barga, Chris Apple, Ruth Wirrig, Wilma Heiby, Carl DeMange, Miriam and John Harman, Jack Monnin, Mary Batty, Norma Magoto, Betty Kremer, Denny Grilliot, Virginia Smith, John Subler, Anabelle Subler, Connie (Baltes) Lechleiter, Lois Youngker, Barb Goubeaux, Eileen Rahm, Cyril Voisard, Samantha Smith and those not mentioned by name who are recuperating, hospitalized, homebound and/or in need of our prayers.
Heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Tony Alan Walters (50), John Klipstine (70), Esther Gariety (85), Elmer Grilliot (88), Leonard Otte (94), also remembering the lives of Timothy Williams, Garold Rismiller, Yvonne Mangen, Loudonna Timmerman, Benita Rindler, Bill Price, Jim Borchers, Don Richard, Jerry Brandt, Joan Schellenbarg, Carl Bey, James Roeth, Gladys Francis, Anna Barga, Norma Phlipot, Helen Monnin, Jerold Mulvaney, and all those who are in our hearts but not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their passing nears.
“At the heart of every family tradition is a meaningful experience.” ~Unknown
“Christmas tradition fans the ambers of yesterday’s memories and keeps the fire of today’s memories burning brightly.” ~C. Edwards
“Traditions have a very special way of keeping favorite memories forever in our hearts.” ~Unknown
Kathy Magoto is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her weekly Versailles community column. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 526-3798. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.