It is about now that people are starting to get ready for the holidays. Greeting cards to be made and sent, holiday baking and cookie exchanges, decorating the tree and house, buying or making gifts and wrapping them to look festive under the tree.
Everyone has their own holiday traditions. We kept some of our parents' and our grandparents' traditions, but also made some of our own with our kids. One was that the few days before Christmas they would secretly prepare and practice a play or concert to regale us with on Christmas Eve. We always put up our tree about the middle of December and leave it up until the day after January 6th, the twelfth day of Christmas. We always had a real tree, the tallest that would fit in the room with the top branches stapled to the ceiling beams to keep it from toppling over. We would put Christmas music on the stereo and Dad would string up the lights before we started on the decorations, many of them hand made. One set of lights was one that my grandparents bought for my Dad's first Christmas, having one light in the string that was a red cross. We had that string on the tree for our children. It is of course the kind that when one light doesn't work none of them do, so over the years we have had to cut out a couple of the lights and splice the string back together. Now one of my children has it and sadly it no longer lights up, but they put it on the tree anyways. I like that. Now my children are making some of their own family traditions with their kids.
And.... Christmas isn't Christmas without crackers! Some people put their crackers on the tree, but we use ours to decorate each place at the table. After we were all seated and before the turkey got carved, we would pop our Christmas crackers, don our hats, take turns to read our corny jokes, and then we could play with our toy while waiting to be served.
What holiday traditions do you have that were passed down through the generations?
I happened across these interesting books full of ideas to get you in the holiday spirit!
For more, search using keywords: christmas, christmastide, yuletide
Yuletide lighting : Merry Christmas - National Lamp Works General Electric 1926
Edison Electric decorative lighting outfits; miniature lamps for Christmas trees etc 1905
Christmas: tags, seals, cards, booklets, calendars, candy boxes, novelties, books 1911
Dennison's Christmas Book : for Christmas, New Years and Twelfth Night Parties 1922
Christmas cards and their chief designers 1895
Gift Card designing 1922
Yuletide Favorites: By United Fuel Gas Company - Christmas Recipes
Yuletide in many lands - c1916
A Present for the Old Folks - c1910
Make your own Christmas Crackers