Traditions are so important in a home. At Phil’s house, the traditions he carried on gave comfort and delight to his family. I know just about everyone has traditions at Christmas time, but of course they’re unique to each family.
Phil likes to put up a Christmas tree. He didn’t use an artificial one; he likes the fresh trees best. When he put the tree up ranged anywhere from the day after Thanksgiving to a week before Christmas. He and his children liked to decorate the tree together, and they had the typical metal ball ornaments, as well as garland and tinsel.
Christmas cards received from friends and family were taped up around the door frames as decorations, and mistletoe was hung. Phil strung colorful Christmas lights around the front porch and on the two bushes that adorn each side of the porch.
Christmas Eve sometimes has a special place in many families’ traditions too. With Phil and his children, they would read the account of Christ’s birth in the bible, in the book of Luke. Each family member would take turns reading the verses.
The children were allowed to open one small gift on Christmas Eve, to “tide” them over until Christmas morning. I know other families do the same thing.
The children’s stockings were hung on the big wooden piano in the dining room.
On Christmas morning, breakfast was very simple, after opening the gifts, of course. Gifts were always very thoughtful and meaningful. If there was a large gift for one of the children, it was placed outside on the porch, not by the tree. Phil’s children would then open the door to see it and receive it.
Phil’s family always visited his mother around lunchtime on Christmas day, as well as his siblings. She loves putting on a special spread for the family and relatives.
For supper on Christmas day, Phil would make a wonderful meal, the meat being either ham or turkey. Potatoes, stuffing, yams, beets, and cranberry sauce would always accompany the ham or turkey. Phil and his children would stuff themselves and enjoy the special holiday together.
Traditions are what make such special memories for families, and Phil and his children have many to look back on and feel good about.