The Festive season means different things to different people. For some it is religious to celebrate the birth of Christ, for others it is all about family and friends coming together. Others may celebrate Hanuka or other religious traditions and of course there are New Year Celebrations.
In my post earlier this week, I wrote about 5 traditions for my festive season and the importance of these traditions to me and my family.
I’ve asked a few of my blogging friends to share what the Festive Season means to them. I’d love you to leave us all a comment and share your thoughts with us. Don’t forget to visit each of these ladies over at their blogs when you have finished.
First off I’d have to mention that we try to keep some focus on the birth of Jesus being the “Reason for the Season” in our family by including a nativity scene in our Christmas decorations, and we always go to church on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.
The major focus of Christmas for me though, is family – the day itself is so special for giving gifts and enjoying being together. It has also always been the time of the year where we get together with extended family over various meals and I love seeing our children laughing with their cousins and growing older together. Now the cousins are adults too and we have their children attending the family gatherings, a whole new generation to enjoy.
As our kids have gotten older and moved away from home the old traditions have slowly changed. Now they’re both married and we have to share them with their spouses’ families and that means creating new traditions. Christmas lunch no longer happens – it has become Boxing Day lunch, and this year that may not include both our kids as our daughter is wanting to redefine what Christmas means to her – and that seems to involve less running around trying to juggle two families.
Last Christmas was our first with a grandbaby – and this year she and her parents are spending their first Christmas Day with us (normally it’s with the other side of the family) – I’ve already begun to make plans and buy grandbaby presents – such fun. I’m learning to adapt what Christmas means to me as our family dynamics change – it’s hard to let some of the old ways go, but it’s also lovely to embrace new ways of doing things and to share the joy with a grandchild.
The two photos are what Christmas used to be when our kids were teenagers and what it has become with our granddaughter.
Christmas has always been a very special time of year for me as I come from a big family, that is ever-growing. It’s the perfect time to catch up with family that you don’t see often and also a good time to put differences aside and come together.
We normally gather together at a family member’s house, usually either mine or my brothers, and have a big Christmas lunch comprising of roast turkey, baked ham, roast pork and all the trimmings, and a variety of salads. We all contribute to the day by bringing something. Mine has been the Christmas pudding for numerous years, as I seem to be only one that knows how to make one!
Afterwards we always have the traditional Christmas day cricket match and then a cool off in the swimming pool. It is always a happy day and we all are well and truly overstuffed but the end of it!
Christmas has always been about family and spending time together. In all my years I can only think of one or two times that my husband and I have been on our own for Christmas Day.
When my three daughters were little I always made them a matching Christmas dress for all the parties, Santa photos and to wear on Christmas Day. It was all about making their day special and fun. In 2014 we had a family holiday at the beach and my second daughter made her sisters matching Christmas dresses which they proudly wore for a special photo shoot and presented me with photos matching their younger days. It was very funny!!
Nowadays they are all grown up and we have fallen into the pattern of getting together every second year. With one daughter living in the UK and our other two daughters and numerous family members scattered throughout Australia it isn’t an easy task but we manage to do it. On the year we have everyone together we start looking early for a suitable house somewhere, usually at the beach, and get working on the logistics of getting everyone together. It’s quite an effort but it’s worth it in the end.
In the hustle and bustle that is Christmas, it is easy to define this season as bright lights and pretty decorations, wrapped presents, and overwhelmed exhaustion. Like so many women the world over, I often approach December with a “things will be different this year” attitude — slower, quieter, simpler. Then Black Friday arrives and suddenly the Christmas crazy begins!
It is easy to forget what Christmas really means to me in the midst of the merriest yet busiest season of the year. The opportunity to contribute to this post, however, gave me a moment to stop and reflect. This year brings many changes to our family, and with those changes come some bittersweet emotions. We’ve lost loved ones and gained others to love. We’ve sold old family homes and will make new memories under different roofs. Our old traditions will evolve into new celebrations. These changes have reminded me, however, that as important as family traditions are, Christmas is so much more than what we do or even who we are able to do it with.
I know it sounds trite, but it is no less true: Christmas is and will always be about love. The love of God for us, given freely in the form of His son Jesus, whose birth we celebrate on this holiday. And the love we have for each other, for family and friends who hold so much of our hearts, who make us who we are, even if they are no longer with us. That love will always define Christmas.
So this December, as I inevitably become ensnared in the Christmas crazy and as I consider all that has changed, I will remember all that remains the same. Time and circumstance will never take away these two constants: Jesus and family.
Because love will always be what Christmas means to me.
I loved reading the thoughts of these lovely ladies and don’t forget to click on their link and visit their websites. Each has a different take on life and well worth a read.
What does the Festive Season mean to you? I’d love you to leave us a comment with your thoughts.