We all have various family traditions that remind us of happy occasions from the past. Christmas, of course, has some of the most memorable because we tend to repeat them each year and they just become engrained in us. I think that when at least 4 of my 5 kids are asked the question, "What is your favorite family tradition?" They say, "The Shepherds Dinner on Christmas Eve." We didn't start doing this interesting dinner until probably 1992, when someone in our Oak Hills, Oregon ward (church congregation) told me about the way their family celebrated the coming of Christ. They sit on the ground (floor) and eat what they think the shepherds outside of Bethlehem would have eaten on that first Christmas night. Goat cheese perhaps, or figs and unleavened bread (crackers), fruit juice, dried fish, or dried anything for that matter are some of the things we think about when shopping at our super super market for this event each December 24.
We sometimes get quite elaborate compared to what the shepherds would have eaten. Our stomachs are probably all much more stuffed than the original shepherds ever even thought of being, but it is an exercise in empathy if nothing else. We do love this tradition and the lessons it teaches us.
The Hubby and I went to dinner with my "walking buddies" and their respective hubby's tonight. We were talking about some of our traditions and Laurie said that she has never had a Christmas morning without her parents there. In her parents house during her youth and in her house after she had children herself, they have always been there. Wow, 50 years is a long tradition with the same loved ones sharing Christmas morning. What a blessing for the grandchildren, to have that unconditional love all around them.
Well, Carolyn topped the time frame and the place as well. She has woken up in the same bedroom, in the original twin beds, now pushed together to make a king, looking out the same window on Christmas morning for all of her 58 years. Can you imagine? Every year for 58 years in the same house. That is all her grown kids know, and the tradition of going "home" is deep rooted in them too. They just expect to travel to Grandma's house. Grandpa (her father) died a few years ago, and Grandma just keeps it going for them all, but Carolyn herself has taken over the roll of charge person and caregiver.
Quite an amazing tradition.
How 'bout you? Any other good ones out there?