The season of traditions is upon us. Before we know it families will be gathering all over America to warmly celebrate the holidays steeped in tradition. Dressing up, the meals, the decorations, the laughter and games, the traditional readings from stories of old; no home, rich or poor, lets the season pass without celebrating with their own heritage. That is what traditions are, ways to pass on our heritage from one generation to another; teaching them from birth.
This is why it was important to us, as parents, that our family traditions teach our children about our Catholic faith and Southern heritage. Living in the North makes our job of keeping our heritage alive in our children very difficult. We must constantly counter the propaganda the schools are teaching them.
One thing that makes this easier for us is the purposeful traditions we have begun for our family and hopefully many generations to come. Some things that the children absolutely love and look forward to every year is the reading of “When Washington Crossed the Delaware” on Christmas Eve. We then open all the family gifts before we go to bed. Christmas morning is reserved for the Nativity story and Santa’s gifts that all come in special Santa paper and gold lettering. Christmas dinner is always Chinese; shrimp fried rice, chicken fried rice, egg rolls, egg drop soup, and pepper steak. Yum!
Two years ago we tried something new with gift giving; everything that comes from Mom and Dad is books, games, activities, and puzzles that are all geared to teach our Catholic faith, our Southern heritage, and true American history of our founding fathers and their sacrifices. Each gift was carefully chosen to instill our values and beliefs in our children. Each child was given beautifully illustrated and brilliantly written books with personal messages from Mom and Dad written inside the cover. These were the gifts opened on Christmas Eve. Santa, of course, brought some toys and stuffed the stockings on Christmas morning, but it was gifts of heritage that had them talking.
They talked for months about the things they read and learned from their books and such. They loved it so much they begged us to do it again last year. Needless to say it was such a huge hit it will be a permanent family tradition. What ever your traditions this holiday season it is the time spent with family and friends that makes them so memorable. Those memories and the stories that come from them are what keep them going generation after generation. This holiday season what framework are you passing on to your children?