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What, no “real” Christmas tree this year?

10 Dec

churchBreaking tradition is difficult for me, especially when it comes to family. For as long as I can remember, there has always been a “real” Christmas tree in all my homes. My earliest memory of this tradition actually flashed into my mind just the other day. My grandfather, who was a Shriner, helped sell Christmas trees at a local grocery store. The proceeds went toward the Shriner’s Crippled Children’s Hospital. He would bring home a tree for us to decorate. Fast forward to my married with children days. My husband and I began our own family tradition of packing up our kids in the car and heading to a Christmas tree farm, where we picked out the most “perfect” tree on the grounds and then we cut it down. Some years, however, the trees were not so perfect, like the one in Colorado. The trunk was so crooked it caused our “perfect” tree to tumble over in our living room (every time we were away from home). Oh my, fun times!

Well, this year I’ve been struggling in my spirit with the issue of buying gifts with money we really don’t have to spend. Going through some difficult transitions with job changes and playing catch-up with some financial obligations, the money just hasn’t been there to buy “all” those gifts to put underneath the tree. What tree? When it comes right down to it, going to the Christmas tree farm and cutting down a real tree isn’t cheap. This is what we’ve done, though, with our kids and now grandkids. Not this year!

While thinking of ways to cut back on spending this year, but still capture some favorite family memories, this idea came to me.

Family Church (4 Generations Collage)

Family Church (4 Generations Collage)

Several years ago, my husband, Jeff, inherited a wooden church that his great-grandfather made as a carpenter; he was also a Baptist pastor. This beautiful wooden church has been passed down from generation to generation (now to the 4th generation). One of my most favorite memories of this church is when Jeff’s grandparents had it. They always had an artificial tree sitting in the chimney of the church, decorated with old-fashioned bubble lights. That’s it! This year, we will sit the church in our living room, where our “real” Christmas tree normally sits, and possibly we will put an inexpensive little tree in the chimney. Since we receiving the church, I purposefully display my hand-made nativity set. My grandchildren love to play with the various pieces, especially placing baby Jesus in and out of the feeding trough.

It never ceases to amaze me how God cares for even our little family traditions. My God is the Master Creator!

This year, we may not have a “real” Christmas tree, but we will focus on Christ. Instead of placing our gifts under a tree, we will place them around the church. And on Christmas day, Pappy (Jeff) will share the story of the greatest gift of all—Jesus, by reading the Gospel accounts of His birth from Luke 2:1-20; Matthew 2:1-11.

  • What are some of your favorite, or new Christmas traditions? Please share some in the comments.

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1 Comment

Posted by on December 10, 2013 9: 12 pm - in Christian Family Traditions, Christmas, Seasonal Celebrations

 

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One response to “What, no “real” Christmas tree this year?

  1. charles white

    November 17, 2014 12: 22 pm - at 12:22 pm

    Years ago at our loccal salvation army we drew circles around soup cans and wrote the names of Christ and the gifts he brought to earth…gifts like faith, hope, mercy. love, joy, forgiveness etc. The idea was that every child had something to GIVE, ornaments he made with his own hands.
    Use a soup can like we did OR we put them on the website http://www.bibleparent.com , just click on HOLIDAYS.

    Charles White

     

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