Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Keeping Christmas Traditions

It is December 1st. Can you believe that this year is coming to an end? Christmas is 24 days away. I have been planning for it and looking forward to it for most of the year. I love this time of year. There are many reasons why. One in particular? Christmas Traditions.

What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Do you have things that you look forward to doing with family and friends as Christmas  approaches? There are several that I enjoy and am now getting to share with my son: decorating the tree, looking at Christmas lights, singing Christmas carols, reading stories, and many others. We do them year after year and I love them still.

What is it about the traditions that I love? First, it is a time that I set aside to spend with my family and friends to enjoy doing things with them. That is priceless. Life moves at a frenetic pace. It is necessary to slow down and take my time and enjoy things with them. Christmas is a perfect time to do just that.

Next, the things we do together have meaning for us. My wife and I (and now our son) decorate our home on the day after Thanksgiving (a good way to spend Black Friday) every year. We pull all of the Christmas boxes out of the shed and I put up the tree while Marixa decorates the rest of the house. I generally have the movie White Christmas on in the background because I can sing along (and quote most of the dialogue). Why is this meaningful? We are preparing our home for Christmas. We make it a warm and welcome place that encourages us to celebrate the season. We have ornaments on the tree that remind of us of times we have spent together. We have decorations that we have had for years that we can share memories. It is a time to remember where we have been and look forward to the good times to come.

Also, by practicing Christmas traditions we remind ourselves of the important things about the season: Jesus, giving, showing love, being thankful. Traditions are ways we hand down those beliefs and ways of thinking to future generations. Why do we go look at lights every year? Could it be that we look at lights to remind us of the star that called the Wise Men to Jerusalem? Or, of the starry night on which the baby was born? Yes, we like looking at pretty lights, but putting lights up has a deeper meaning and is something we can remember and share.

No two families are alike in the traditions they keep. They shouldn't be. Traditions are things that have to have meaning for those participating. If there is no meaning, there is little reason to do them every year. But, if there is meaning, the traditions hold the possibility of enriching the Christmas season and drawing you and the ones you love closer together. For this reason, we practice many of the same ones year after year. We look forward to them for years to come. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What Child Is This?

One of my favorite parts about the holiday season is the music. I am usually the guy sitting at work that has the 24 hour a day Christmas station playing constantly at my desk. (I do have to turn it off from time to time though...there is only so many times you can hear that Grandma got run over by a reindeer.) I usually sit there singing along, oblivious to the world. Sure, I get some funny looks, but it does get you in the mood for the season.

Maybe I enjoy it as much as I do because I have been writing and singing songs for over half my life. I just love music in general. Couple that with everything that Christmas represents and it makes it so much better. From time to time I have taken old sets of lyrics and put new arrangements to them. I tried my hand at "What Child Is This" a couple of years ago, and I really like how it came out. Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Christmas is on the way!

It is hard to believe, but another year is coming to a close and Christmas is just 48 days away. (I have been counting down since March!) I love the season that we are entering in to. It is my favorite time of year. 

If you are new to this site, it was started for a couple of reasons:

First, I have written a Christmas book entitled "I Believe: A Christmas Story". I am very proud of the book and want to share it with the world. (It has gone through some revisions over the past year and is better than before.)

Also, I love Christmas. I LOVE Christmas. It has been my favorite time of year for as long as I can remember. It isn't just one thing that I love, but here are a few to get us started:

1. It is when we celebrate Jesus' birth.
2. It is an opportunity to give, give, give.
3. Sharing the holidays with my family is awesome!
4. Some people become a better version of themselves during Christmas. 
5. Looking at Christmas lights is awesome with my wife and little one. 

There are many more reasons I love Christmas. I will be blogging about them and much more over the next 48 days. I would love if you would join me for the ride. I welcome your comments and stories. Let's share this season together. 

If you haven't had a chance to pick up a copy of my book, the link is on the right side of the page. I am sure you will enjoy it. 

I am looking forward to this Christmas season!


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