This time of the year always brings a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart with memories of Christmases past. As a kid, I remember the season always began with hanging a decorative star in front of our home, decorating the Christmas tree and setting up the nativity scene in a manger my dad would make. In fact, it became my most cherished holiday tradition. I still remember the very first one he made with bamboo sticks, meticulously tied together with string. It was the best one ever! Unfortunately, that was before we owned a camera. So only sweet memories remain. Over the years our manger would see many different interpretations..from the most humble looking one made with sticks and straw to ultra modern looking versions made with Styrofoam. But it was always there…painstakingly handmade. And friends and family would fill the house way past midnight the entire week of Christmas. The house would be wrapped with the smell of mom’s baking and the sound of laughter.
With all the commercialization of the holidays, this has probably become one of the most stressful, craziest time of the year. If you think about it, none of those gifts are missed or even remembered years later. It is the family traditions and memories of time spent with family and friends that always lingers on in our mind.
I wish you all that warm fuzzy feeling of being with your family this year. What holiday traditions do you cherish and celebrate? What is your favorite childhood memory of the holidays?