Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stealing, sharing, and blending family traditions

Once Thanksgiving ends, the Xmas season, at least for all commercial and residential purposes, begins. Since Connar hasn't experienced any Christmases yet, we have yet to develop any distinctly Christmas Henderson family traditions. In order to form them, we will become somewhat syncretistic: absorbing some Henderson-Nance traditions, but also taking new bits and pieces of other folks' traditions and blending them together. Not a good idea when it comes to the orthodox Christian faith, but perhaps very helpful when developing new family traditions.

And since I've already blogged on the need to evaluate all traditions, I'm guarding against becoming Clark Griswald from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Clearly the Christmas family traditions were for him, and not his family as a whole. So with that said, please post any of your favorite family Christmas traditions. We may steal them, tweak them, use them, or pass them on. You may give others some good ideas, and they may give you some. A win-win.


Rebekah said...

Ralphie's Christmas! Actually known as "A Christmas Story," the wonderful movie with Darrin McGavin and Peter Billingsley. Christmas is not complete without "You'll shoot your eye out kid," and "Show us how the piggies eat," "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine," and a good dose of "Daddy's going to kill Ralphie!"

Gail said...

But, if you're watching Ralphie on DVD be sure to have the remote handy to hit the mute button. After watching it on TV for years we were shocked at the language when we bought the DVD and watched it.

Haven't done this in years, but a tradition could be baking Jesus a birthday cake. G

Rebekah said...

Oh yea, Jesus Birthday Cake is a good one! Saying I forgot it is a bad sign, but it made a strong impression on me when I was a little nino.

Amy said...

Yep, Ralphies Xmas is moneybags. That became a tradition later in life for us. The birthday cake idea is a good one. We'll probably do some advent candles when Connar gets a bit older.

One of our favorite family traditions was getting a tree at Plant High School and going to Steak N Shake for dinner across the street from the school. It's where my parents met; my Mom's date ran over my Dad's foot. We did that tradition for many years.

Musically, my favorite Xmas album growing up was and still is one by The Chieftans. An irish Xmas. Most of the songs have something to do with Jesus and drinking or both. Its a classic Amy and I still enjoy. And we also have added Point of Grace Xmas to the mix. That's a decent one as well. Recently we picked up one of the Indelible Grace Xmas CD's to round it out.

Thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

Your son is young, but even he might be able to drop coins (or bills) into a Salvation Army bucket.
We gave our kids money ($5.00? in those days), and they were to decide on a charity to give to. It gave them a feeling of responsibility to be able to decide which group to donate to, and enormous pride in being able to share with those less fortunate.

Geoffsnook said...


Thanks for the idea. We definitely want him giving as early as possible.

TulipGirl said...

We have certain family traditions that don't really change, and then others that are in flux. . . This year we're figuring out what exactly we'll be doing with in-laws and extended family (as Hubby's siblings will be juggling time with in-laws as well.)

We observe Advent with the boys, but like other things, that had morphed through the years as well. Though it changes, it remains very special for us.

Amy said...


Thanks for your input. Advent is very special to Amy and my