We love Christmas traditions. And, we have a lot of Christmas traditions and memories across the LuHi staff family to share! We hope you enjoy reading some of them below.
One time I went ice skating downtown on Christmas Day and rode the 16th Street Mall bus. Everybody was jolly and in good cheer until suddenly a young tough guy with his bare chest showing behind his unbuttoned shirt stormed onto the bus holding a 5-6 ft. Christmas tree. He was mad at anyone who was in his way and the bus went silent; but remember, homeboy's holding a tree on a public bus and he's showing a lot of skin on a cold day. That's not the funniest part. The funniest part is that he literally rode the bus like 1 block then got off and said "excuse me" really politely to everyone when he did. It really made me thankful for shirts.
We always get a tree on Nov. 30th which is Mrs. H and my anniversary. When the kids were small, we made stockings for them, then every year we added something to the stockings. We go to church on Christmas Eve, then come home and have shrimp, a cheese ball, and play games until midnight. Then everyone opens one present. We open the other presents christmas morning while drinking hot chocolate.
Birthday cake for Christmas dessert. You may think that was for Jesus, but my grandfather's birthday was December 25, 1901, so the birthday cake was for him.
A fond memory for me is going to church on Christmas Eve with my family. After the service all the kids received a brown paper bag with small treats and goodies, like oranges, apples and Christmas candy. No fancy wrapping paper or colorful bows. No expensive electronics or the latest fashions. Just a simple gift. Just as Christ came down and gave us life with his.
I grew up listening to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols put on by the King's College Choir each Christmas Eve. With the time difference, they come on the radio in the morning on Christmas Eve. I still try to listen with my family each year.
My family would always eat Clam Chowder for dinner on Christmas Eve before opening presents and heading to church. It probably won't come as a big surprise that a lot of my Christmas memories revolve around the music that was a part of those Christmas services. I have many fond memories of being a part of the choirs and music groups growing up.
Each year my family sits down to eat food from different countries. The Ness’ have foods of our 5 nationalities: English Tea Ring, Scottish Shortbread Cookies, Norwegian Lefse, Swedish Potato Sausage, and German Stollen!
Every Christmas Eve my family sit down together, where we eat hamburgers and fresh cut French fries. We eat together in the family room while watching A Christmas Story. After we watched the movie, my brother and I would go up to our rooms. We’d try to stay awake all night, trying to listen to our parents moving the parents. Every Christmas morning our parents made us sit on the stairs to take a picture. We’d open our presents, then eat a butter braid while drinking sparkling grape juice.
My current favorite Christmas tradition is going to the mountains to cut down a live tree. Years ago, my grandpa built a cabin up near Divide, CO and it’s been always held a special place in my heart. Now, I love getting to share that place with Matt, especially around Christmas time. Hunting for the right Christmas tree to cut down is like looking for the right house to buy. We pick out our top 3 and walk around them inspecting them for the strongest branches, the fullest look, and the right height. Matt always gives me the final say because that’s the kind of generous human he is. He cuts it down while our dog, Winston, sprints around the forest living his best life.
It’s also good for the environment! Thinning out trees that are growing too close together gives trees a chance to grow bigger and taller. It also helps for fire mitigation. Your family should consider getting a permit and doing it sometime!
Every year we have a Christmas Eve sleepover in the living room by the Christmas tree. It involves pillow forts, popcorn, cheesy Hallmark movies with terrible acting, and an occasional tag team wrestling match. This tradition still continues to this day, even when we are all adults and a lot bigger. It becomes one big game of family Twister. However, one thing hasn’t changed: We still love each other and we still love our Savior. We just now have an even greater appreciation for what he did in that crowded stable because our living room closely resembles that minus manure. God bless you all this Christmas season!
We hope reading through these memories have brought you some Christmas joy! We pray that you have a wonderful Christmas, surrounded by family and friends, with plenty of time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas.
Jesus, the King of Kings, came to us as a vulnerable baby to experience life and suffering as we do. His perfect life was given as a sacrifice to give us life and welcome us into His family forever. Celebrating His birth renews our hearts and minds with the truth that we have a God who is with us, Emmanuel!