Over the next few weeks, Nicole and I will have a chance to be with both our families of origin to celebrate. I want to share a few family traditions that I remember from growing up and some that continue today.
- Kris Kringling – A tradition in my family where we drew names at the beginning of Advent and did nice things for that person throughout the year. A few days before Christmas we would have a meal with special food – especially lil’ smokies and cheese curds – in which we would guess and reveal which person had been doing nice things for us throughout the season.
- Lighting the Advent wreath – For as long as I can remember, we have had an Advent wreath in our home and would light a candle each Sunday using the Upper Room Devotional as a guide. Nicole and I lit the fourth candle this past Sunday.
- Grab Bag – In addition to drawing names to give gifts among siblings and cousins, a grab bag would accompany the event. You might know this as yankee swap, dirty santa, white elephant, or some other variation. This is often the most anticipated part of the gathering. Here’s a tip: throwing in a bag of M&M’s makes nearly any worthless piece of junk an intriguing possibility to keep.
- Program Piece – Before you can receive your present, you would need to perform a program piece. When I was growing up, this was most often a musical number – piano or a few times trombone. My brother, Jonathan, is known for his magic tricks. Nicole and I are working up our program piece for this year.
The bottom line is that it is great to be with family.
Will you please share some of your family Christmas traditions?