Traditions of Christmas
Today is a monumental day in my life. It is the 25th anniversary of me becoming an official sister of the Eta Omega chapter of Tau Beta Sigma. I cannot believe that was 25 years ago. It does not seem possible. So many things have happened between now and then (just like back then, I am in school and ironically I am taking classes at a school that has a chapter of Tau Beta Sigma). Joining Tau Beta Sigma was one of the best things that I ever did in my life and it has had a part of shaping who I am today.
I am also thinking about traditions. In the chapter of my sorority (as well as with the chapter of our brother fraternity), we have chapter traditions that we do. Many of them started with the founding members of the chapters while some started with the Beta class or different brother and sister lines. They make the chapters special more special to us, provide a sense of family, and make us unique in the big picture of things. They also create a deeper bond of brotherhood and sisterhood.
As, I think about the Christmas season, I think about the many traditions of Christmas. Some are unique to specific countries while some are unique to specific families. No matter the tradition,. it is meant to bring a sense of closeness, uniqueness, and serves to make it more special and meaningful. In my family, we go to Christmas Eve service together. On Christmas morning, my dad reads the Christmas story from Luke 2 and then we pass out presents - one for each person. Then everyone gets to open their present before passing out another round. My mom makes a special Christmas breakfast and then we eat Christmas lunch together around noon. We also have stockings that are hung up over the fireplace - one for each person in the family. The stocking tradition got started when I brought home a stocking I had made in the preschool class at church. My mom decided to make personalized stockings for the rest of the family. We used them for many years before she updated them foe everyone. I believe that I still have my updated stocking.
Even though I do not live with my parents anymore (or have a family of my own) and do not get to spend Christmas with my family every year, I continue with the traditions for myself. I hang up stockings for me and the kitty cats and put stuff in them. For the kitties it is usually a toy for each of them and a cat treat. I also make sure I read the Christmas story before I open any presents that I might have received. I also like to get my tree up on December 1st (this year it is still in the process of getting up as are my decorations). I like to eat a special Christmas breakfast and then do something special for lunch - however, I noticed that I like to mix it up. Last year I had a variety of ethnic food for my Christmas lunch. I also have started helping out with the media at the Christmas Eve service and if I am able to, I like to do Asian food and a movie on Christmas Eve.
Another tradition that I have started with myself is wearing a different pair of Christmas socks each day for the first 25 days of December. Then there is the 24 Days of Christmas blog posts that I decided to start. Last year I managed to find a different song for each day. This year I decided to mix it up. I have done a couple of songs and now this post on Christmas traditions.
I am going to end with a few interesting Christmas traditions from around the world.
Ireland - they leave a mince pie and a bottle of Guinness as a snack for Santa.
Venezuela - people roller skate to mass.
Iceland - children put their shoes on the windowsill to be filled with goodies by Santa.
Japan - KFC has become a traditional Christmas dinner.
What kind of traditions does your family have for Christmas? Have you heard of any unusual ones?