FaithShapes! Family: Christmas Traditions

…”this is my name (LORD) forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.  Exodus 3:15b  NIV

This month at FaithShapes, the focus is on “letting our traditions shine”—and what better time to think about traditions than at Christmas.  Perhaps you already observe some established traditions during this season; but, if not, now is the time to dig deeply into the recesses of your mind and find one.  Begin by thinking of your childhood Christmases and remembering something special that only happened during that time.  It might be a certain dish your mom prepared or a game/skit the family enjoyed together, or even the entire family trimming the tree.   I have friends who always go to the movie theater on Christmas Day—a different type of tradition, but one that suits them.  When my husband and I were newly married, we began the tradition of buying one exquisite Christmas tree ornament each year.  The rule is we must shop together for the ornament and agree that it is the “one” for us.  All the ornaments are labeled with the year of purchase, and it is such fun each year when we unwrap them to hang on the tree.

During my childhood years, my mom always made Date Nut Loaf Bread at Christmas.  She would save several empty vegetable cans (16 oz. size), and once the batter was mixed, she would fill the cans about half full and then bake.  The aroma was wonderful, and once the cans cooled, Mom would gently release the loaves from their unusual baking pans.  As a child, I was fascinated with that “round” loaf.   For serving, it was sliced into thick pieces and topped with a cream cheese/crushed pineapple mixture.   Mom is now 84 years old and cooks very little these days, and I am ashamed to admit that I have not continued her tradition.   So this year, I will take her recipe, blow off the dust, polish her tradition, and bake some Date Nut Loaf Bread.

May you uncover an old tradition this season….or create a brand new one!   Either way, have a blessed and holy Christmas as you honor the wisdom of tradition.

(c)2011 Leslie Ooten Kelley

Photo Courtesy of Delia Halverson

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