Gift of Tradition
As Christmas draws closer, I can’t help but think of the many holiday traditions my family has generally followed over the years. Some are strange, some are widely shared, but they’re all unique markers of how we spend our time together marking the birth of Christ.
Perhaps the most fleeting tradition was when my brother and I were younger, and our parents would affix bells to our bedroom doors on Christmas Eve. It was an early-warning system for Santa to scramble back up the chimney, or at least alert my parents that someone was trying to sneak a peek into their stockings or get a glimpse of any new presents under the tree.
Another staple of Christmas was always finding the right red cedar in some forgotten corner of a pasture, where it had escaped fire just long enough to be cut down, hauled home and adorned with ornaments. In addition to adding a festive fragrance, it was always the center of attention on Christmas morning with a bounty of gifts beneath its branches. Of course, the tree hunt itself was a tradition prone to the occasional hiccup, like the time we got stuck before finding the perfect tree. I was young enough I don’t remember all the particulars of exactly how we got stuck, I just know the winch on my father’s Toyota FJ40 wasn’t enough to break us free.
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