As you sit down to read this, we’re halfway through the month of December, or possibly, if you’re a Sealy News hoarder like my mother, you’re reading this in January 2018, long after the tree has been taken down and the stockings returned to a box in the attic.
Either way, it’s always fun to make new memories and preserve the old traditions. Recently in my Sunday school class at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church we had an icebreaker where we discussed our favorite Christmas traditions.
While I staunchly believe that my family is the best, and my mom’s food is better than your mom’s, it was fun to hear what other families do during the most wonderful time of the year. One friend recounted how her parents have an annual swordfight with French bread baguettes. Another guy said he watches Star Wars every Christmas Eve. Some families have intricate scavenger hunts, go to a candlelight service or recite Bible scriptures and sing carols.
My family opens gifts on Christmas Eve, following a church service, and following about a thousand family photos orchestrated by my mother. We sing carols, which inevitably includes “Good King Winceslas,” which is Dad’s favorite. No one knows what that song is about or why he likes it so much.
Aunt April dons the stocking cap and plays “Santa,” which involves distributing gifts in an orderly fashion – and everyone must watch while the gifts are opened. The only time we went off script was when my mother gave me a Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt (I was in my 30s at the time) and I tossed it back to her and just said, “No. This has Pooh on it.”
Ultimately the Christmas season is about family. It’s been a hard year for many. Some were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. No one has enough money to buy the gifts they really want to give to their loved ones. We always feel like we don’t get enough time with our families or we don’t make the most of the few days off we have.
My goal this year is to give a lot of hugs. To really listen when people are talking. To ask my relatives how they’re doing and anticipate an honest answer. To hear from my nieces about school. To play Pokemon with my nephews. To laugh a lot and eat too much food (neither of those should be a problem).
It’s about quality time, and it’s about the kids. At my age, I really don’t need a new T-shirt or a pair of earrings, although I do enjoy opening presents and with the exception of the Pooh sweatshirt, they rarely are returned.
During this Christmas season, let’s enjoy our families and the intangible gifts of time and fellowship with one another.
April Towery is the managing editor of The Sealy News. She can be reached at 979-885-3562 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.