Christmas is my favorite time of year. The reasons have changed since becoming an adult and it’s not the anticipation of Santa coming or the opening of gifts. I’ve come to realize a special presence that Christmas brings; the giving spirit, the family time, the snowy weather and the twinkling decorations.
The traditions I enjoyed as a child all revolved around the gifts, which is most definitely not the real reason for Christmas, but children are children. When we were little, my three brothers and sister would be excited to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house on Christmas Eve. There we would have dinner with our relatives and my Grandpa would dress up as Santa and bring gifts to the little ones (Miss ya Gramps)! The adults would be excited for a White Elephant and gag gift exchange every year which grew to be a highlight of the night with many memories from past years.
As far back as I can remember with Colton, we’ve tried to instill in him a giving spirit, not just at Christmas time but throughout the year. My Grandpa really inspired that in each of us. He volunteered every day after retirement at a food pantry even when Parkinson’s disease and cancer took a toll on his body, he started an annual Thanksgiving dinner drive for the poor, and he formed a charity to build affordable housing for the poor in India.
I’ve been trying to find fun holiday family traditions centered around giving to others. This was when Colton and I packaged Christmas gifts with our relatives for Operation Christmas Child.
It’s little things like this each year that I want Colton to remember when he’s older. Because he’s not going to remember those gifts that Santa brought him when he was four years old.
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