My Grandmother’s family had a tradition of playing the Christmas Gift game. Does your family do this? I would love to hear your story of it. Only Grandmother did it and the older I get the more I wish we had kept the tradition alive in our family. Growing up I listened in wonderment as my proper Grandmother turned back into a fun loving girl again. In the game of Christmas Gift, the first person to say “Christmas Gift” earned the first gift, an extra gift, for that day. Grandmother would answer her phone “Christmas Gift” instead of the normal “Merry Christmas” as the majority of people do. She loved that game. It reminded her of her childhood and holidays at home. Research on this game revealed that it could be done for both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It started as a custom that was broadly practiced by families from the southern parts of the United States. My Grandmother (paternal) grew up near Richmond, Kentucky and was definitely a fine Southern lady.
My daughter-in-law has German heritage and continues a German Christmas tradition. On their Christmas each year is a hidden glass pickle ornament. The lucky person to find the ornament is supposed to receive a finder’s gift and good fortune for the next year. It is said that these ornaments were first sold in the United States in 1880.
I don’t remember any other specific Christmas traditions. Sure we decorate, make cookies and candy, and visit family. Nothing exceptional or out of the ordinary. We used to have a progressive dinner for my mother and her siblings. That could be a blog in itself. Now things are just toned down.
Toned down describes Jesus’ birth. Nothing elaborate and fancy. Born in a stable with shepherds as messengers to spread the news. Jesus had humble beginnings and taught humility. I looked up the meaning of humble: having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance, not haughty, arrogant, assertive, or proud. Wow – if anyone had a reason to feel important or know He was important, it was Jesus, but He acted like a servant to all. Jesus was not proud, conceited, or arrogant. He did not push people around or assert Himself. Jesus resonated love, purity, goodness, and patience. He taught us what things really mattered. Lessons in riches showed us that our treasures are not here on Earth in things but in Heaven with Him and the Father. His family is our family. We should love and care for them as He wants us.
This year just might be the perfect time to start a new Christmas tradition. One that is pleasing to and lead by Jesus. Pray about it, open your heart and mind. Maybe some type of donation or charity would be for your family. Perhaps buying some livestock, chickens or seed for someone makes your heart sing. If you decide on one, I would love to hear about it. “Peace on Earth and goodwill to men.”