Wednesday night was our last high school group meeting before Christmas.
After we did our normal prayer walk around the park across the street from church, as we walked back into the building afterwards, my star (translation: only) pupil posed a question that gets asked every year in some way, shape, or form by someone I know.
Christmas traditions - what is one of your favorites?

Breakfast - one of my family's Christmas traditions (less than flattering
picture of me eating aside)

My answer to him, along with a long story about other family Christmas traditions that only loosely tied to the place I was going, was this:
One of my favorite parts of Christmas morning, was curling up on a couch or in a chair or sitting on the floor listening as Grandma or Grandpa or Dad or one of my older sisters read from either the account in Matthew or in Luke - Grandma's pick.
None of the stockings were handed out, and none of the presents under the tree were distributed until we had finished the story and prayed over the day.

I told him (my student) about how now, as an adult, I am thankful they did that, because it set our priorities back in order.

God breaking barriers, sending himself into our world as flesh and blood, to rescue us, to restore us... to fix our broken relationship with him.
That was the reason we celebrated, and my grandparents wanted to bring us back to that before we got caught up in the chaos that was our Christmas morning celebration -
Breakfast with all the aunts, uncles, and cousins who could make it, whenever they could make it on Christmas morning.

But I remembered another tradition a couple of days later.
The Christmas cards.

Admiring the Christmas decorations (including
the cards) in my living room
Every year, starting the day after Thanksgiving, from parts of the country unimaginable, Christmas cards would come in the mail.
Grandma and Grandpa had a piece of yarn strung well above the fireplace, taking up an entire wall, and we hung them on the string.
There were always more than would fit on the string, so we'd resort to window sills, the divider between the living room and dining room... wherever there was room and the cards could be displayed.
Some might call it decorating on the cheap (the tree and the cards were as much decorating as we ever did), but it warms my heart.

Displaying the cards has also, in the years since Grandpa died and Christmas morning went from masses of people to just the immediate family, become one of the few lasting traditions - even making it into my work cubicle one year.

Christmas tradition - meet my cubicle (Dec. 2013)
All sentimentality aside - as we're coming up on the big day, what are some of your family's Christmas traditions?
Tell me in the comments below!
(or tweet them at me - @catpollock on twitter, hashtag #christmastraditionscat)

Until next time,