Christmas Traditions in Siestaville

Good morning, Sweet Things!

It’s one of those rare days around the Moore house when we get to sleep late. I got up about 7:30 because I like to have a few minutes before everybody else rouses around here. I just got finished with my quiet time and had you on my mind so I thought I might show you what life looks like from exactly where I’m sitting:

My man and I usually get a tree that is way too big for our low ceiling and have to cut two feet off the top. After all, we are the Moores and if medium is good, more is better. This year we got one that fits our size room a little more appropriately and is less accommodating to Star and Geli for chewing and climbing and all-around-dragging. Up front is me in my favorite house slippers. They are called “The Pinks” (forenamed by Melissa and I when we got our original pairs). Everyone in the family knows The Pinks and God forbid one of the dogs getting hold of them. I am very picky about my house slippers because my man keeps the house ten degrees below zero and my feet nearly freeze into nubs.

To the right of The Pinks you can see the very top of my favorite coffee cup. I’m annoyed at myself for not getting it in the picture better but I don’t have time to take another one and upload it. My Greek tutor, Dr. Joe Wall, and his beautiful wife gave me a set of dessert plates and cups and saucers from Russia where they train pastors. (Replicas of Catherine the Great’s official dishes.) I don’t have a ton of attachments to things but, if my house caught on fire, these would come out right after the baby pictures and the dogs. Coffee and tea drinker that I am, I love delicate cups and saucers. So do Amanda and Melissa and we have used this set no less than a thousand times. They have the added sentimental value of coming from people I love and respect so they make English tea or fresh brewed coffee taste even better.

On each side of the tree are dolls that hold candles and move their arms (hence, the blur). I’ve had them for twenty years and they mesmerize me. I could sit and stare at them for hours. Annabeth is also completely taken with them. She stands right in front of them and needs to talk to me at length about them. The one on the right has a hood on her red velvet coat and AB likes to put it on and off and on and off and with the delicate touch of a chimpanzee. Nonetheless, the doll stands tall and takes it like a trooper.ย  If you’re wondering where the presents are, we don’t bring them out until Christmas Day because they take up too much room in our den.

Shhhhhhhh. Don’t tell them you saw what’s in them but these are my girls’ stockings:

I made each of these from kits with my own little hands right after each girl was born. (Amanda was born ten minutes after we were married. Not really. Nine and a half months to be exact and, no, I’m not kidding.) Of course, I also made a stocking for Keith and one for me. I still can’t believe I did it. (Don’t you dare ask how hard it could be. This might as well have been chiseling heads on Mt. Rushmore for me.) That was back when I had more hope of being the home goddess. I may have even had a sewing machine back then. I had high hopes of carrying on family tradition. My mom could sew anything and I didn’t have a store bought dress until junior high. My older sister, Gay, and I dressed alike all our young lives and still think it might be fun.

Uh oh. Melissa and Keith are up so I’ve run out of time. Here’s one more. It’s a picture the girls and I took yesterday at Saltgrass Steak House with Melissa’s I-phone on our Christmas shopping day. By 2:00, we hadn’t gotten a single gift but we’d eaten twice.

Oh gracious. I love those girls so much. They remain the greatest proof in my life of God’s inconceivable redemption. Even more than the ministry, as thankful as I am for it. God didn’t just do a miracle in my serving life. He did a miracle in my HOME. In my own troubled family. How Keith or I either one did not destroy this home is a mystery only God can explain.

OK, so now it’s your turn. What holds a special Christmas memory or tradition around your home? Do tell!

I love you guys so much.

PS. OK, because you insisted, here’s a close up:

And I couldn’t bring myself to show it to you empty so you just caused me to have a fourth cup of strong coffee. I’m typing really fast and feeling extra energetic. Going to get off and do handsprings in the den until I calm down.


399 Responses to “Christmas Traditions in Siestaville”

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  1. 1
    Sarah says:

    One of my favorite traditions is that Christmas morning, before we open any presents, my Dad reads the Christmas story from Luke. Then he prays. Used to be me and my two brothers. Now that they are married and away and celebrating with their wives’ families (leave and cleave you know), it’s just me and Mom & Dad. But still a precious tradition. Never gets old. Reminds us the Reason for the Season! Merry Christmas to you, Siesta Mama and your precious family and co-servants at LPM! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. 2
    carla says:

    I have been blessed with a huge family I married into 30 years ago and for many years we would go on Thanksgiving to the Grandparents house and trapse through the woods to cut down a tree entirely too large for the living room and after too, too much food, pecan pie and mississipi mud cake that all the daughters and daughters-in-laws would make we would decorate this tree….This year we are all remembering Christmases gone by at the hospital where Grandma is recovering from hip surgery after a fall Sunday while at 90 she was putting presents under the tree…..Christmas Blessings to all and thanks so much for sharing your Christmas with us.

  3. 3
    Vivian Malson says:

    Christmas pajamas! It was always the first (maybe only) gift I got to open on Christmas Eve. I carried on the tradition with my own kids. (They are 20 and 17 now.) My husband is a pastor so Christmas Eve was always busy with church activities and dad always got home very late. Christmas morning was wonderfully crazy with breakfast casserole followed by wrapping paper flying in the air! This is my first Christmas without my oldest. She is grown and out of the house. She is actually in The Woodlands just north of Houston. BUT she does have her Christmas pajamas wrapped and ready for her to open on Christmas Eve! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Merry Christmas Ms. Beth!

  4. 4
    amybhill says:

    some of my favorite christmas traditions are: going to christmas eve service, reading the christmas story from the bible by firelight (or candlelight when we’ve lived places with no fireplace) on christmas eve, watching a christmas carol and/or its a wonderful life on christmas eve while wrapping presents, and exchanging gifts one at a time (so everyone has a chance to see what everyone else got) on christmas morning.

    merry christmas to you all (siestas and moores). love, amy

  5. 5
    Marcia says:

    I laughed as I read the post. I am sitting here in my robe and slippers and coffee cup, looking at our tree this morning. Quiet time finished and another day of Living Free thinking how blessed I am. Excited for Christmas morning for all the kids and grandkids to arrive, to read the Christmas story, make our notes to Jesus for the year and eat our traditional cinnamon rolls..(tried to change that one but the kids won’t let me) and of course open our presents. I love the quiet mornings and the Christmas tree lights with music. Our God is so amazing- to think he brought himself to us as a baby for us to know him. Thank you for sharing this am. Merry Christmas and Very Blessed New Year.

  6. 6
    Jill says:

    Merry Christmas!!
    The candle light Christmas Eve service is our tradition with just our daughter. Just the three of us singing Silent Night, crying and as our daughter says,”Having a holy moment.”The three of us go out to eat at a special restaurant after church. Christmas Day is mayhem with 16 people descending upon on us, so we relish our quiet Christmas eve.

  7. 7
    Ginny Bass says:

    My favorite Christmas memory is going Christmas tree hunting with my dad. There are so many funny stories over the years of us “stealing” Christmas trees. But my dad being the surveyor he is knows that it is county property 25 feet from each side of the road. This year as my dad is working this tree over or should I say the tree was working him over, I look up in the rear view mirror cause he had left the truck parked in the middle of the road and here come the police. They just waved and kept on going. There are so many other stories like this. I love spending time with my dad. He is getting older and little forgetful, but it warms my heart that I can help take care of him just like he has taken care of me.

  8. 8
    Ginger says:

    First of all, let me just say, that I think it’s awesome that you guys ate twice before purchasing any gifts! That’s what I’m talkin’ about right there….

    You guys just bless my socks off!

    Now for my favorite tradition….
    as long as I can remember, my mom has made Christmas breakfast, complete with my absolute fave…CHOCOLATE GRAVY! It’s literally the only time of the year that I get chocolate gravy and mom always pulls out the best dishes and everyone is invited. I can always remember our home being filled with friends that had nowhere to spend the Christmas and sometimes even strangers…how they found our house, I haven’t a clue, but I’m thankful for those memories and the tradition. This year, Christmas breakfast with mom will be on Christmas Eve…and Christmas day will be breakfast at my own home with my husband (just home from Afghanistan), my son, my daughter, and her new husband….and thus, a new tradition begins.

  9. 9
    Sister Lynn says:

    Hi Beth!

    I had to laugh at your too big tree… a friend of mine’s father would always say “if enough is enough then too much is just right!”

    My favorite Christmas memory and tradition…the singing of the Proclamation of Christ’s Birth at Midnight Mass. Its kinda long but these are the words… gives me goosebumps every time!!

    In the five thousand one hundred and ninety-ninth year of the creation of the world from the time when God in the beginning created the heavens and the earth;
    the two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seventh year after the flood;
    the two thousand and fifteenth year from the birth of Abraham;
    the one thousand five hundred and tenth year from Moses
    and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;
    the one thousand and thirty-second year from David’s being anointed king;
    in the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;
    in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;
    the seven hundred and fifty-second year from the foundation of the city of Rome;
    the forty second year of the reign of Octavian Augustus;
    the whole world being at peace,
    in the sixth age of the world,
    Jesus Christ the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father,
    desiring to sanctify the world by his most merciful coming,
    being conceived by the Holy Spirit,
    and nine months having passed since his conception,
    was born in Bethlehem of Judea of the Virgin Mary;
    The Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

    Awesome isn’t it!! love, Sister Lynn (all your Sister siestas!)

  10. 10
    kristen says:

    my extended family always goes into the woods for a Christmas Eve picnic. We roast hotdogs, marshmallows, — the last couple of years have been hard with the youngens and the cold Minnesota weather, but they’re memories!

    • 10.1
      Candice says:

      Kristin, How FUN! A Christmas picnic…such a great idea. I’ll think of it when I head to my sister’s new house in MN! Many blessings to you and your family.

  11. 11
    Peggy Fletcher says:

    My family owned a florist shop for 20 years so Christmas was always very busy for us in the shop, but the smell of pine, cedar and the like always brings back those memories. I had my own florist shop for the past 5 years and closed it in May to have more time with my husband and 2 little boys.
    I am however doing some florist work from my home for the holidays so I have been enjoying those wonderful evergreens all week long. Today I will make something wonderful for our Christmas table….. evergreens, cloved oranges and what ever else the Lord inspires me to do. Merry Christmas Beth and family and everyone at LPM. I look forward to starting scripture memory with you all. This will be my first time joining you in that. Thank you for the opportunity to do so.

  12. 12
    candifer says:

    favorite tradition? picking names off the prison angel tree at church, buying presents (my mama made sure i picked out a toy AND something practical), wrapping them, and then delivering them. i’m glad giving–especially at this time of year–was instilled in me from a very young age.

  13. 13
    Forever His says:

    Hey Beth, such a neat commentary to explain the picture. Love the stockings. It is so great that you still have them after all these years and they look great too! You must have been more of a domestic goddess than you thought for them to last.

    I enjoy Christmas trees. So this year I have three. One in my bedroom with all Precious Moments ornaments, one in the living room with all Disney ornaments and my new one this year in the family room/dining room area that is my Jesus tree, all decorated with crosses. It is beautiful.

    Christmas Eve we eat homemade (by my oldest daughter) chicken pot pie, go to Christmas Eve service at church, have a birthday party for Jesus, open one gift and then my husband reads both the Bible story out of Luke of Jesus’ birth and The Night Before Christmas to our children and grandchildren. We then send the kids off to bed so we can prepare for Santa. It is always fun and exausting! We love it. The next morning we have a big breakfast (prepared by Papa) and begin cooking dinner after all the presents have been opened. When we lived in California, we would do all of this at a rented cabin in the mountains and sometimes even have snow! Such precious memories.

    Have a blessed Christmas with your precious family.

    Phil 4:8

  14. 14
    patty says:

    Your tree is beautiful and your “Pinks” look like mine except mine are black. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    In front of my tree sits a Santa Claus figure that I have had for 23 yrs. It lights up and my sons would be disappointed in me if I didn’t put it under or by the tree. The youngest son gets it when he moves out.

    Our Christmas traditions, we are different and open gifts on Christmas Eve. I make a nice dinner and we try to get to church for our candlelight Eve service. Later in the night we open gifts. This year we bought stockings as tall as a 6 ft. person and that is what I am putting all their gifts and candy in.

    For Christmas morning we cook a huge breakfast and sit around in our p.j.s the entire morning. My parents come over for dinner. This year I am making my lasagna for dinner.

    Merry Christmas to the Moores/Jones/Fitzpatricks and all my fellow Siestas!


  15. 15
    Gayle says:

    This was a very sweet post sharing your Christmas memories. Thank you, especially for mentioning the miracle Christ did in your home. He is to be praised!

  16. 16
    Michele says:

    Beth, it is so sweet of you to share personal glimpses of your life with us. Thank you. We appreciate you and all you do.

    Christmas is extra quiet this year without my cat and dog. I miss Cindy so much. Idk what to do with their stockings.

    Need Jesus more than ever. All I want for Christmas is to be closer to Him.

    Merry Christmas Beth, Amanda, Melissa, your family, Hawk, KMac, LPM folks, and all Siestas

    • 16.1
      Bobbie Lutz says:

      Merry Christmas, Michelle! You’ll be in our thot’s this Christmas day. Maybe hang their little stockings and write them a note. (i know they’re pets, but we love them just the same. Christmas blessings!

  17. 17
    Roxanne Worsham says:

    Merry Christmas, Siestas!!

    I love Christmastime and I love traditions!! I am one of eleven children so when my family gets together we number 42 with spouses and children. We outgrew my parents’ home many years ago so my folks started a new tradition that is a highlight for me!!

    We usually do this the Saturday BEFORE Christmas, but last weekend my niece graduated from Texas Tech so we are doing the party this Saturday which, of course, falls on Christmas Day.
    We gather in the ballroom of a nice hotel here in Houston adorned in our best festive attire. The room is gorgeous with a grand buffet, a lighted ice sculpture, a carving station, and a dessert table with scrumptious goodies and the best bread pudding you could ever put to your lips!
    There is a beautifully decorated tree in the room and a baby grand piano. We hire the piano player from my home church to play and lead us in sing-a-longs.

    My Dad always has a few wise words to say to us and then opens with prayer. He also takes the time to read Luke’s account of the birth of our Savior. I have to admit that since my mom went to Heaven over 5 years ago the gathering still is not the same. Her absence is GREATLY felt. Nonetheless, it is so important for us to continue to gather and meet as an entire family unit at least once a year. It is hard with so many living out of town and state.

    My family is one who puts the “It’s not ‘fun’ to be dysfunctional” but they are my family and I love them! But for a few hours out of each year we can gather together and thank God for His goodness and grace in our lives and praise Him for getting us through another year. We can lay aside all of our differences and share a heaping of hugs and a cup of laughter. You would be hard pressed to find more love under one roof.

    The Lord has already impressed upon me that as I pray for my “Jerusalem”, I don’t have to look any further than my own family lineage. I have made some adjustments in my life so that I have more time to nurture those relationships and minister to them. The Lord doesn’t want one to perish and neither do I!! I may not agree with the choices they make, but I’m not called to fix them or judge them, only to love them. With God’s help, I will do only that and prayerfully deposit a lot of good seeds in their lives this new year. Then, in God’s perfect timing, the fruit will come.
    This is my Christmas prayer.

    May your time with those you love be precious and tender.
    I love, love, love my Siesta Family!!!
    Blessings in abundance!!!!

  18. 18
    Marni says:

    Beth, I just discovered your blog – and I am soooo thankful! Yeah! This past October, our Church’s ladies retreat was on your Loving Well study – and it was amazing! Thank you for all you do!

    Now to address your question – I wasn’t raised as a Christian; I have only been following Christ now for 7 years. So the memories I have of Christmas growing up was actually lighting the Menorah (raised Jewish here), but visiting family friends who were Christian. They made it a tradition to open one gift every Christmas eve, and I am carrying that over now into our family. Also, over the past few years since the birth of our son, we have made it a part of our tradition to have prayer time before we open presents on Christmas morning – and we have a special Christmas breakfast afterward. Then we spend the whole day in pajamas and watch Christmas movies, and nap sporadically throughout the day…and of course play with all the new toys. ๐Ÿ™‚ Oh! And Pre-Christmas day, I am all about getting the Christmas letter out to friends and family now – it is a tradition passed on by a a dear family friend who went home this past summer. She is terribly missed, but I know where I will see her one day; and who she will be with! ๐Ÿ™‚ It is just wonderful to be able to carry on her tradition which I always embraced deep in my heart.

    I am more in the mode of creating traditions now, than duplicating a whole lot of what I was raised with. As He let’s us know in Rom 12:2 – we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds; and my mind is ever focused on Christ (especially this time of year), and all I want to do is focus on Him, what He has done, and share this time with family and friends.

  19. 19
    Momma Foster says:

    We are a newer family and just starting our own traditions, but I love Christmas Eve–Candle light communion at our church followed by dinner at my husbands parents Christmas eve. Then a quiet Christmas morning and my sisters in the afternoon.

  20. 20
    Jan says:

    When we decorate the tree, we wear goofy Santa hats and listen to “Blue Christmas” and the Christmas Elvis CD… it’s corny… but we’ve been doing it since our teens were tiny…

  21. 21
    Marjorie says:

    My family loves the movie “The Muppet Christmas Carol” and since we all sing … we sing alot with all of Jim Hensen’s creations! Love it! We also open one gift on Christmas Eve and the rest on Christmas Day. Love seeing the eyes of those we love – relish their well-thought out gift. Also – one of my children now reads the Christmas story from Luke before we begin the festivities on Christmas Day!!

  22. 22
    Pat from Kansas says:

    One of my favorite things is watching the kids (all grown now) decorate the Christmas tree and look at all the ornaments they have received through the years. We tried to pick one each year that somehow reflected a part of their lives for that year….sports themes, music themes, a car, sponge Bob (which my son still watched at 14 years old and I harassed him about)..etc…then my son also made a toy soldier out of felt and a pringles can in elementary school and by golly, he insists that thing be placed prominently in the front room and he moves it to a new spot every few days…just to make me crazy! (I’ve tried to throw it away for several years now). Just time together is the BEST! Merry Christmas to all the Siestas..
    I am posting a link to a great site to find verses for our SMT spirals (if anyone needs some help finding verses)…

  23. 23
    LuAnn says:

    One of my favorite traditions is to hear my dad answer the phone on Christmas morning. Since I married and left home I have always called my Dad on Christmas morning, even if I knew I would see him later in the day. My mom passed away last year, and my Dad had a stroke a month ago, so it’s likely he won’t be doing that this year. But I will always remember the deep tone of his voice as he answered the phone Hello – ho -ho, Hello- ho- ho. ( Making a Santa like ho – ho )Mid forties, married for more than 28 years and I still feel like daddy’s little girl, even though our roles have reversed for now.
    Take special note of your loved ones young and old, this life is but a vapor and only the Lord knows what the next year holds.
    Merry Christmas to All you Siestas!!

  24. 24
    eva says:

    One tradition we started with our church about 5 years ago is a cookie ministry. We box up literally thousands of dozens of cookies, meet up at the church on Christmas Eve morning and each family takes several dozen to people who are working that day in appreciation.

    We also always eat at…….Krystal after the Christmas Eve service……..greasy burgers, raunchy fries, but now it’s tradition and saves the cook from a lot of stress!

    One more, just started when my mom died ten years ago…I put a penny in my fake snow displayed in my carolers decorations on a cabinet in our family room. Have added three more through the years for subsequent deaths of my dad and both parents-in-law. Just a reminder of memories of the past and yet to come in eternity!

    Have a wonderful Christmas everyone.

  25. 25
    Becky B says:

    Merry Christmas Beth! Loved your pictures and your post. The picture of you and girls is one of the best EVER!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Too many traditions to write about–but one that sticks out is that I made my girls wait at the top of the steps before coming down to get their gifts. Of course we always would prolong their descent. We’d make coffee, take out the trash…piddle…anything to build more suspense for them. My oldest daughter has her own baby now and lives out of state. My baby girl is 18, still at home and will still has to wait at the top of the steps Christmas morning. ๐Ÿ™‚

    LOVE YOU and Merry Christmas!!

  26. 26
    Elisabeth says:

    I’m single & Christmas is quiet for me. While I dream & hope of the loud roudy Christmas mornings filled with children & puppies someday, I’ve been attempting for the last couple yrs to find ways to enjoy the day. This year will be the fifth year I’ve sat & watched an entire season of Little House on The Prarie on Christmas. It makes me happy. I love the world of Walnut Grove & all the excitement & adventures that take place there. I enjoy sitting with Jesus & talking to Him about how the show effects me. It’s a good quiet time for us to hang out:)

    • 26.1
      Becky Roode says:

      I’m single, too, Elisabeth. And I look forward to having my own family Christmas one day as well.
      In the meantime, I love the idea of spending Christmas day with Jesus. He is reminding me more and more that I am never alone, that he is always with me.
      Have a wonderful Christmas day! Enjoy your time in Walnut Grove…with Jesus! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 26.2
      Bethany says:

      Hey girl! We should have connected because I am still not sure what I am doing tomorrow. I pray that your day is blessed and I look forward to getting together to go over our memory verses next year. I look forward to getting to know you better and to growing in the Lord as sisters and siestas!
      Merry Christmas!
      Ps. I got my spiral today! What a sweet Christmas gift indeed!

  27. 27

    I love love the Christmas Eve service!! Another fun tradition from my childhood that we have carried on with our kids is making gingerbread houses!! My dad was a chef at a hotel and every year we would make this beautiful gingerbread village that people would come and see!! It was so much fun!!

  28. 28
    fuzzytop says:

    Loved all the pictures! I love to have my coffee or tea from a pretty cup too.

    One of my favorite Christmas things, WHICH I CANNOT FIND, is a nativity set my daughter, Rachel, made when she was in 1st grade. She drew and colored fronts and backs of all the people and animals, and then folded them and taped them to the paper base. And the angels were drawn with shrieking, open mouths, because after all, they were terrified! She made the creche out of construction paper, and made a little manger for Jesus. But my favorite part was a yellow “fence” that went around the perimeter. It looked sort of like a picket fence, and she colored it yellow. When I pointed to the “fence” and asked her it was, she looked at me like I was an idiot and said “…that’s the glory of the Lord – it shone all around them!” The whole thing is just precious to me, and when we moved from AZ to TN a few years ago, I packed it very carefully in its own box, and I have not found it since the move. We still have some boxes stored away in the deep dark storage area at hubby’s business, and I hope it is there….somewhere.

    Much love to y’all this Christmas!


  29. 29
    Redeemed says:

    My favorite tradition is watching The Christmas Story on TBS over and over and over…..

  30. 30
    Jan says:

    Oh Beth – I love the pinks! I remember so well the morning you came downstairs for coffee when you and Melissa and me spent the night at the GA Governor’s mansion. You were so cute with your house slippers on. I love that memory. I love that you are so REAL and truly believe that is one of God’s blessings on you and LPM – genuineness in an age of posers.

    My favorite memories of Christmas are of my sister Jean. We shared a room growing up, but would even sleep in the same bed on Christmas Eve as we could hardly sleep at all!Jean went to heaven 25 years ago at the age of 25. She would be 50 now, and I miss her even more this time of year. I had the privilege to have breakfast with her daughter this very morning and Amy is so much like her mother (whom she never got to know as Amy was only 2 when Jean died). They look so much alike. I have a picture of them on my blog, that has been read more than any other post I’ve ever written:

    There are Christmas pictures from my childhood in that post. My memories of that time are so very precious. My newer traditions with my boys and their sweet wives the past 3 years has been to have breakfast on Christmas Night. I fix blueberry pancakes and bacon. I am going to continue this simple tradition, and Zeke is so excited to help me make pancakes. I have some pancake molds shaped like farm animals and he is beside himself about that! Oh the joy of grandbabies, and this is the Christmas we will celebrate the two new births this year, Madie Ruth & Jackson!

    Praying us all into a long walk of obedience in 2011. I sure welcome and desire that in my own life. Love you much friend.

    Merry Christmas,
    GA Jan

    • 30.1
      Yvonne says:

      I love that you share the simple tradition of breakfast at night!

      Thank you for loving the Lord GA Jan. I remember meeting you almost a year ago at our memory celebration!

      Thankful for you and your faithfulness to our Lord!

  31. 31
    Andrea says:

    With my mom being gone most of my life and my dad being almost completely uninvolved in my life, I have always mourned my lack of parents.

    Last year was my first Christmas with my husband’s family. We had gotten married November 7th of the same year. I walked into the living room Christmas morning and there were stockings hanging like this….

    S (father-in-law) L (mother-in-law) D (husband) A (me!) J (brother-in-law)

    I’d never had a stocking and I couldn’t believe they had counted me as one of them. Sigh… : )

  32. 32
    Erin says:

    My mom started the Christmas tradition of everyone getting a new pair of cute pajamas (if you call Dad’s spiderman ones, and my husbands xbox ones “cute”). We always open them on Christmas Eve. If we didn’t have a pair of Christmas pajamas, let’s just say it would greatly disappoint all of us ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. 33
    Holly Smith says:

    Not only being Aggies, but also very sentimental (not to mention our names are Chris-smith (hear it with a lisp) and Holly), we are BIG on traditions here in the Smith home!
    1. German pancake with a candle–Happy Birthday Jesus! on Christmas morning
    2. ADOREnaments–we read through them as a family and hang them every year.
    3. PUZZLES! We love them! And GAMES! We are all about them!
    4. Picking out our live tree together. Last year…don’t tell…we were so tight financially, we actually cut down a tree that was in our own yard. Hey, we live in Colorado, so evergreens abound! Our homeowners’ association are none the wiser.
    5. Decorating sugar cookies together for Santa! This is not my Chris’ favorite part, but it is mine.

    So many, many more…

    I love your Pinks! And I would like a better view of your favorite cup. It looks delicate and lovely.

    LOVE and MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all! May Jesus FILL the days ahead with everything you need to put you together and hold you in His care.

  34. 34
    beckyjomama says:

    When we were little my mommy wanted to be sure to instill in us a knowledge of the REAL meaning of Christmas. SO – every Christmas Eve she would gather us all in the kitchen and we would make a cake. Then, when we got home from Christmas Eve service we would gather around the table, read the Christmas story and then decorate the cake, add one grand candle, turn off all the lights and have a birthday party for Baby Jesus. She KNEW that the meaning would get lost on Christmas morning with all the craziness of opening gifts, so we set aside Christmas Eve for Jesus and Jesus alone. No gifts, no last minute errands, not even leaving cookies for Santa. Just Jesus.

    And I do the same thing now with my own children.

    This year we have a NEW tradition, and I have to share it because the SIESTAS are a huge part of it. My three year old Sophie asked Santa for a pickle. Yes, a PICKLE. Now, I know that she does not EAT pickles and I could not find a pickle toy, so I decided to get an ornament. Apparantly there is a German tradition with a pickle ornament. HOWEVER, after looking EVERYWHERE I simply could NOT find a pickle. I sent out a cry for help on facebook & twitter and within hours had messages from across the country – siestas offering to find and overnight us a pickle. I was getting messages, tweets, texts and phone calls all wanting to make my girls wish come true. You will NEVER know how touched I was by these gestures of kindness. I cannot thank you all enough for this community in which I have found some of my truest heart friends.

    Merry Christmas to you all!
    Becky Jo

  35. 35

    Merry Christmas sweet Beth, and family! Merry Christmas Siestas!

  36. 36
    Broken says:

    My favorite memories of Christmas all revolve around going to my grandparents house with the whole family there, aunts, uncles, cousins. We had presents after dinner of course. I don’t remember many of the presents that I got, and there were a lot. What lingers with me is the sense of rightness and belonging that I was blessed with although I was too young to fully appreciate it then. Today is my beloved Papaw’s birthday; he’s been gone 10 years now and I miss him so much.Mamaw is in the nursing home so those days are gone, but they are my most cherished memories.

  37. 37
    Sharon in Frederick says:

    Do any of you remember the little battery operated Scottie dog that would walk, sit back bark the do a flip?
    That is one of my favs, must have been 50 yrs ago. I remember my Mom laughing like crazy when my sister and I played with that toy. My other favorite was when my now 30 yr old daughter was about 4 yrs old and her siblings and her dad and I went out side after se went to bed and jingled bells, and made reindeer hoof sounds on the side of our house to give her the magic of Santa. It was so cool to have her brother and sisters want to do this for her.
    Love y’all. Merry Christmas!!!

    • 37.1
      Beth says:

      Yes, I remember, Sharon! Didn’t have one but remember seeing them!

    • 37.2
      Sharon in Frederick says:

      I wanted to add, I love your girly *pinks* and you letting us in on your Christmas. Also, I have certain cups that I drink coffee from and some I drink tea from. Have you ever tried PGTips English tea? I love it. And back to the subject I was just teling my husband and a couple friends that he (JB) my huband of 8 years, we need to develop some family traditions for the two of us. We each have grown children and grand children ( a new Granddaughter 12/16/10 Harper Johanna) but I think a couple tradition would be fabulous.
      Lovw again, and Christmas Hugs!, Sharon

  38. 38
    Kristi says:

    Our stockings–I love them so much. My great-grandmother crocheted some of them and my mother the rest. Everytime we gain a family member by marriage or birth, my mother’s crocheting hands fly to make them their own personal (beautiful) stocking. I do not know how to crochet, so it’s fortunate that my mama is still really young. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    On Christmas Eve we all gather around to hear my dad read the Christmas story from the book of Luke. Then we all put in our official guesses for “the mystery gift.” After all the guesses have been read (you have to guess the recipient and the gift), the mystery gift giver gives the gift to the recipient. If someone has guessed it correctly, they get five dollars. The recipient becomes the mystery gift giver for the next year. This is our 14th year of mystery gift giving and it is absolutely hilarious to see how it will be disguised each year. My family is so much fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Merry Christmas!!!

    • 38.1
      Kristi says:

      Oh, also, my husband buys sparklers in July and we save them in the Christmas gift box in the closet. Early in December, I glue old-fashioned Christmas pictures on little match boxes and tie them to a couple of sparklers with tulle. Each of our friends that come to visit throughout the holidays gets a little packet of sparklers and matches and a note: “We hope your holidays sparkle!”

  39. 39
    Carol says:

    I have a couple new traditions. I like to listen to the Christmas Eve Service from Kings College in England on Christmas Eve day while I work around the house. It is a Lessons and Carols service.

    I also wrap a gift for Jesus and put it under the tree; the first year I put the picture of our Compassion child under the tree. The rest of the family didn’t know about it. It was the prettiest package with no name on it. I told them it was for Jesus and my daughter opened it. We passed his picture around and prayed for him. Very happy memories….

    This year I keep asking Jesus what he wants. ๐Ÿ™‚ We are giving to the Deacons fund at church in HIS honor because while my husband was recovering from his cancer surgery, the Deacons and the Church helped us so much.

  40. 40
    Melissa says:

    Our tradition is the day after Thanksgiving, putting up all the Christmas decorations (tree first), and playing only Christmas music until December 31st. That night, we watch our first Christmas movie of the season, “The Nativity” and our boys put up their Christmas bells. They’re huge gold bells that have a wide gold ribbon coming out the bottom with a single red or green bow for each day until Christmas. Every night, they say their prayers and take off a bow. Then on Christmas Eve, I read “The Night Before Christmas”, they take off the last bow, and they ring their bells to let Santa know they’re going to bed and he can bring their gifts! I sing the Carpenter’s Christmas lullaby, and Daddy sneaks in their room with the laptop to show them Santa on radar! “Hurry, get to sleep! He’s almost here!”

    Oh, and I would pay good money to know how Siesta Mama does her eye make-up! No under eye bags, no “happy wrinkles”! I’m so jealous!

    Santa, change my list! I want eyes like Bethie’s!!

    Merry Christmas to All!!

  41. 41
    Rebecca says:

    We are spending the first Christmas without my mom, so everything has meaning to me this year – ornaments, cooking, decorations. I’m thankful for my memories!

  42. 42
    Candice says:

    As a child through high school- my dad would take each of his children out separately one evening in December to go shopping for my mom’s and other siblings presents.We’d get to pick whatever restaurant we’d want to go to and it would just be the two of us. It was always fun to plan the evening and pick the dinner location. We did this for years…a very special memory with my dad.

  43. 43
    Danelle Jensen says:

    True story. 26 years ago I baked a recipe of Jesus’ birthday cake that can be used to share the Gospel I had found in a Christian publication when we lived in Kansas City. It is a round cake symbolizing Jesus’ love for the world. The bottom layer is black representing man’s sin, 2nd layer red for Jesus’ shed blood, the 3rd layer for new life when we accept Jesus as our Savior. A band of red hearts on the side of the cake represents brothers and sisters united in Christ. Centered on the top is a yellow star of David as Jesus as Messiah. A large red candle is placed in center of the star representing Jesus as the Light of the world. We read scripture for each symbol. Each person lights a small green candle from the large candle and we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus. My husband’s Christian family at that time consisted of Grandma and Grandpa, 5 sons and their wives and 3 grandchildren. Fast forward 20 years after we had moved to Iowa. Our 2nd child, now a young woman, met a young man and they began relating to each other’s life. In a conversation they realized their families celebrated Jesus’s birthday the exact same way. The recipe I had copied was from the young man’s grandmother!! He is now our son in law and tonight the Jensen family(now with 41 family members) will celebrate once again, by God’s AMAZING grace, His precious birth.

  44. 44
    Georgia Jan says:

    Oh my word! Those cookies look SO good! My Mom loves little dainty cups and saucers too. She says it makes the coffee taste better. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Just had to add this to your addendum. ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. 45
    Lindsee says:

    Did you know that Dr. Joe Wall was my pastor? We love their family. I think you used to come to our church to get lessons? The only thing I regret about that time when he pastored our church was that I was young and didn’t appreciate the sermons. Oh, to sit under his teaching now! I’d appreciate it much more. And maybe understand a few things. : )

    As far as Christmas traditions go, each year our family does not miss the Christmas Eve service. In fact, we’ve been called the Von Trapps before since more often then not, all five of us have been on the stage either singing or playing an instrument. It was quite hilarious! If we’re anything, we’re a very musical family! I love it!

  46. 46
    The Capricious but Caring Cat Lady from Upstate SC says:

    We spend Christmas in front of the fire talking in between bouts of my Mother trying to stuff us constantly with food. Just talking and being together is our favorite thing.

    This year I wasn’t able to make the trip, so the phone will have to connect us instead. I am grateful for the phone.

    Just last night as I was telling my Mom about my commitment to the SSMT and asked her to join me. She told me that when she was a young girl she had a new testament and would memorize verses all the time on her way to and from Mamie Saunders to get the milk everyday. She had never told me that. She said it is a wonder that she hadn’t stepped on a snake on those dusty curvy country roads and she wasn’t paying the least attention to her surroundings as she strumped along.

  47. 47
    Michele says:

    One of my favorite Christmas traditions when I was a kid was on Christmas Eve. We used to drive to my Dad’s side of the family and spend Christmas Eve with them, then on the way home (by~the~way, in the car ride there is nothing but singing Christmas carols, all the way!), so…on the way home, we would shout at Dad, “Drive downtown Cincinnati and see the fountain!!!” So Dad (and Mom) as tired as they had to be, would drive us downtown to see Fountain Square all lit up! And then, we might have had to take a few “detours” to check out a few light displays, too!
    We also would go up to the Conservatory around Chritsmas and see the living Nativity. (Don’t tell the authorities, but one year, when I was home from college, we had a few people over at Mom and Dad’s and I talked them all into piling in the van, to drive up to see the Nativity. We had so many big people crammed in the van, that a few had to sit on the floor. What a blast that was!

    My Mom always has us read the passage out of Luke and pray before we open any gifts. That’s always been a special one, too! This year we are going to do the interactive nativity (that the people who made resurrection eggs put out). Pray for us, I am hoping God really uses it to speak to the little ones this year, in a special way (and to a few BIG ones, too!)
    I could think of quite a few more “special” things this time of year, but I am trying not to be so “talkative”.

    Merry Christmas, Beth (and family, too!!!)
    And Merry Christmas Siestas!!! Wish I could stop by and bring you all a few cookies and share some time reflecting on all God has done for us, with you!!!
    Lots of Love!

  48. 48
    kendal says:

    my husband’s parents, although divorced, are both at our house first thing in the morning. they do this for us so we don’t have to travel so much on the day. i cook breakfast (a rarity) and lunch. we gather with my large boisterous family in the evening. and it is good. god has blessed me beyond belief with family.

  49. 49
    Kari says:

    For my extended family, Christmas Eve means going to my grandparents house. We stand in a huge circle that grows with people every year and my grandfather will say a few words and usually the prayer, unless he is too emotional and then one of my uncles will say it. Someone will read the Christmas story before we open gifts.

    At home, one of my favorite things is letting my 7 yr old son set up the nativity scenes. Whereas I will usually set everyone up so that each side is symmetrical and you can see everyone’s face…he sets it up so that everyone, including the livestock, is in a semi-cirlce in front of the manger so they have a good view of Baby Jesus!!

    Merry Christmas!

  50. 50
    Ash says:

    “with the delicate touch of a chimpanzee” – love this because I have 3 chimpanzees of my own (plus one that finally outgrew chimpanzee-dom)

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