Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Today I am joining my friend, Karen Beth, for Tuesday @ Ten...just in time to get it done before this week's prompt!!   This link-up, writing from a prompted word or phrase, is one of my fave...be sure to check out Karen's blog and the links!

Today's prompt is a phrase:  My Christmas Traditions

From the magical Christmas tree that "appeared" after we all went to bed on Christmas Eve, to the stockings hung on the mantel -  the adults' filled with empty cans and fruit and the children's filled with fruit and candy and little gifts...

These are the traditions I remember from my childhood.

The first time we saw the Christmas tree, all decorated and shining brightly, was when we came into the living room and saw it lighted and presents galore all around the tree.

My parents and grandparents stayed up - very late - assembling the last minute toys and putting the decorations on the tree, lights and all.  That is why there were empty cans in their stockings - they needed those drinks to keep them awake!

Now, as I look back on those days, I don't even know if the trees were real or fake; but they were beautiful in the eyes of my brothers and I.

Fast forward to the growing years of my own children...

We had our own traditions, like buying a special ornament each year for each of the kids...and many of those ornaments still hang on their trees!

Ornaments on Our Tree

Close-up of Ornaments

Elf and Mistletoe
Handed down from my Grandparents
to my Parents then to Me
and now to one of my Daughters!

The Nativity Music Globe

And, after moving to Florida, there was the chili supper and caroling at church; Christmas Eve service as a family; and the annual visit to Kuhn's Flowers to see their window displays - see photos below.

Two of the windows at Kuhn's Flowers (2013);
the tradition has been passed on to the grandchildren!

Another major tradition was the hunt for a "real beard" Santa!  We'd check out all of the malls and if he had a "fake beard", we'd go someplace else looking...

And we usually found one!  {Don't ask me what the kids thought about all the different Santas; don't remember what I told them...probably the "Santa's helper" bit!!}

"Real Beard" Santa

The tradition of finding a "real beard" Santa is also passed on to the grandchildren!

Every year I would make the statement that it was going to be a "small Christmas"; yet when we all gathered and placed the presents under the tree...

Well, it's not about the presents anyway, is it?!

Of course, once the "children" were grown and had families of their own, they made their own traditions.  Yet, many are blended from their childhood and their spouse's childhood...

Around 2002, we added the Live Nativity and Luminaria in the community surrounding my church as an annual tradition on the Sunday before Christmas.  In the beginning, I would sing with our choir for this event as well as our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service...

Live Nativity
at Riverside Ave. Christian Church

RACC Chancel Choir

Now, I work for a 45-minute shift at the craft table we have in Fellowship Hall for the kids during the Live Nativity festivities, and while they wait to see Santa!  And, I think I was as excited as anyone to notice this year's Santa...

Yes!  He had a "real beard"!

Usually Christmas morning is set aside for my daughters and their families to enjoy opening presents and being together.  Then, later we gather for our big family celebration.

This year, my son will be here sometime Christmas Eve night (usually they'd arrive a day or two after Christmas); so our festivities will begin earlier - once they open their "family" gifts.  Then, we'll gather for breakfast/brunch and then open the rest of the gifts.

The holidays are different when you don't have any children in the house!  I didn't even decorate this year because it's so time-consuming and I'd be doing it alone; and nobody comes to our apartment most of the time anyway.

It doesn't mean I am not in the holiday spirit!  I have done many things Christmas-y: I have exchanged gifts with my crafting friends; I have attended church and our Live Nativity; I have been to the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's Holiday Pops concert;

Jacksonville Symphone Orchestra
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Dancers

I have shopped for gifts; I have mailed (finally!) my Christmas cards; and I have seen The Grinch!!

Meeting the Grinch
Dec. 2015

Christmas Traditions?  There are probably many more I could think of from my almost 65 years of life!  But, I'll leave you with this:

Jesus is the Reasons...

for ALL seasons!


  1. The Nativity music globe is gorgeous! I collect Nativities. What great traditions you have!

    1. I also collect(ed) nativities; when we down-sized somewhat, I let my "kids" choose ones they wanted. I still have several, and would put them out...but it's so much to drag things out - by myself; put it out and decorage - by myself; and then put it all away - by myself!

      Maybe next year...I'll get the grandkids to help me decorate; I never thought about that...they older ones would love that!!

  2. Oh, I loved this, Barbara! This is a post I am bookmarking to re-read!

    1. Thank you, Andrew! Traditions...we all have many, don't we?! Appreciate your commenting!


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