Christmas Traditions

DSC02211By Patricia Zick @PCZick


An ornament celebrating Robert’s and my first Christmas together

I grew up in a family steeped in traditions during the holidays. This year, for various reasons, I almost didn’t put up a Christmas tree. Since we won’t be in our home for the actual holiday, we decided it best to not go to the local Christmas tree farm and cut down an eight-foot evergreen and haul it home. That’s a tradition my husband and I started on our first Christmas in our new home two years ago, and I missed it this year. Instead, I hauled out the spare artificial tree I’ve had for nearly two decades and put it in the showcase spot in our front room.

It may not smell like the outdoors, but once I decorated it with all my ornaments, I realized in my living room now stands a story of my life.

An ornament made by my  mother with a photo of my daughter

An ornament made by my mother with a photo of my daughter


My first ornament – he’s lost his arms but not his charm

I don’t make sloppy joes on Christmas Eve, but my brothers’ families still adhere to that tradition. I didn’t put up the ceramic nativity this year, and I already regret it because it always brings me peace to gaze at those small figurines depicting the true story of the season. My brother Don and I painted and repaired those characters each year although I haven’t done much of anything to them except glue the baby Jesus’ hand back on with super glue last year. There weren’t that many happy memories from my childhood so I treasure the good ones I do have. I also treasure the memories of Christmas Eve when we set up Mom’s old sewing table in the living room in front of the tree. Mom always found an appropriate tablecloth and placed candles on either end. One of my brothers would read the Christmas story from the Bible. Afterwards, I would sing Away in the Manger. Then I’d hear my oldest brother say, “Ho, ho” from the top of the stairs, and my family always expected me as the youngest to believe it was Santa. Like most families, we mixed our holiday metaphors and celebrations into one big happy pot of tradition.

My Michigan roots

My Michigan roots


My Florida years

My family isn’t all that unique. There many things we didn’t do well, but we knew how to celebrate Christmas. My parents have since passed. Santa brother and manger-painting brother both died several years ago.  I’m left with memories, some ornaments, and a warm feeling in my heart for this time of year. But I’m also here to make new memories with my husband, my daughter and her boyfriend, and other family and dear friends.

What are your favorite holiday memories (from any holiday)?

Happy holidays whatever form they take. May you find peace and love in all you do.

10 thoughts on “Christmas Traditions

  1. It’s sort of sad as we get older and the traditions start to fade away, especially as family drifts apart or passes on. I always feel that Christmas is for the young children, who still believe in the magic and wonder of the season and appreciate our efforts. This year we won’t make it home, and it’s just the four of us. We’ll try to uphold the traditions, but it’s not the same as a house full of family. When the truly little ones are around and the house is full again, that’s when the season will feel “Christmas-y” again.

    In the end, though, I guess it isn’t really about how we feel about it, but what the season represents. If you’re celebrating Santa, who really cares? If you’re celebrating the birth of the Lord, that’s all that really matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, it is. It will be interesting to go to my daughter’s home for Christmas this year. That’s never happened before, but I’m very curious to see which of the traditions from her childhood she retained. Merry Christmas, Doug.


  2. Aww, I’m so happy you resurrected your old tree and found a story…your story…that’s a lovely story in itself! I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful holiday in your daughter’s home. Fascinating how things come full-cirlce, isn’t it?

    P.S. It’s me, “Hazy.” :0)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow – new blog? I’ll have to follow. I’m glad I put up the tree too. And the outside bushes are covered in white lights. Hubby and I drive through our rural neighborhood (they even decorate for Valentine’s Day here) giving grades to the decorations. Fortunately the house closest to us has very tasteful lights that match ours. I’m not a snob in any other part of my life except when it comes to outdoor Christmas decorations and lights. Glad you stopped by with your new identify. I’m behind in my blog readings but hope to catch up today.


      • Ha ha! Luckily we don’t have any blinkers or blow-ups around here, but I’m pretty sure our house wouldn’t get a 10 from you! I can barely get my husband to hang the lights and right now, one half of our house is burned out! (But don’t unfollow me – we’ll fix it! 😉 )

        It’s more of a second identity than a new one. I’m keeping Hazy as a ‘hold all’ and WW will be strictly fiction. It helps keep my brain in order somehow!

        It’s good to see you around today. I know I for one, have missed your presence.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s the weird combos I don’t like. And some folks just go too far. I’m sure your place would receive a fine grade! It’s been a weird month for me. First, I came down with a debilitating virus and then the same thing happened to my computer. But I’m feeling better and my computer is fixed (without compromising any files). So I’m back and ready to get the book out there – I received final edits back from my editor today.


  3. It’s important for us to keep the family traditions alive. My daughter now has Christmas but we always have Thanksgiving. Growing up in a big family ..7 girls 2 boys as we got older and married it was just a given that we went to Mom’s house for Thanksgiving & Christmas. She loved it! For some of those that traveled far she had them all to herself for a few days. Family is so important. Now that she has passed it seems everyone has scattered to different locations some passed on. Of our 10 grandchildren 3 are off to college but they will be home for Christmas and we all be be together! So looking forward to hearing their stories of being ‘independent’. We are very blessed that they want to come home. Merry Christmas everyone!


    • You are indeed blessed. You are to be commended on bringing your family together as much as you do. Those grandkids will treasure them as they grow as old as we are (or I should “I am”)! Thanks for leaving your lovely comments.


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