Christmas is coming rapidly and many of us are planning just what we will have for dinner that day as all the family gathers, if we are fortunate enough to have them all available to celebrate together the birth of that significant, important baby ..... Jesus.
I thought I would share some of the things that have become tradition in the Stone family at Christmas, hoping that some might be able to incorporate some of the things shared into their own Christmas Day.
We have 3 sons and 3 daughter in-laws and 8 grandchildren. So, thinking about this celebration day usually is happening throughout the year. I am the one who buys the gifts for the girls, (my name for the daughter-in-laws) and Bill buys for the boys, (that would be our sons who are in their 40's). As for the 8 grandchildren, we count on our sensitivity to whatever stage they are in for that particular year. Their ages range from 17 to 4. We make sure that everyone has 3 packages to open.
The children (remembering again that the "children" have children of their own) draw names by family, one family buying wholly for another family, children and all. I did not organize nor do I handle that, it is not my responsibililty. I do not know what family is guying for what family and that makes my life a little simpler as I sometimes truly do remember that the "children" are actually grown-ups.
As we gather around the tree, the grandchildren, with their long legs and all, sit on the floor and I ask why do we have Christmas. I still remember vividly the Christmas that our little Peter said, "Jesus, and He lives in our hearts." Tapping his chest as he told us.
After the grandchildren have discussed why we have Christmas, I talk about "our" family. The Stone Family. One of our daughter in-laws gave us for Christmas a creche one year and each member of the Stone family is represented in it by its own figurine. They are mad with three small wooden balls, placed one on top of the other, with a plaid fabric scarf tied at the throat of each. Each one has their name painted on it, one for Papa, one for Grandma, and one for each member of the family.
Each year I first place Papa and Grandma in the creche, saying a little of how we met and married, then that along came Chris, our oldest, then Brian, then
Danny, placing them in the creche. Then I start with Chris marrying Marilyn, Brian marrying Cathy and Danny marrying Wendy. As the "girls" are mentioned, I place their figurine in the appropriate place in the creche. And the, as you can tell where I am going, I place each grandchild in the creche next to their parents in order of their birth.
As every year goes by I add more to the history of our family and then as each year goes by the people that make up the Stone family has the opportunity to feel a part of something bigger than themselves and also an opportunity to know the security a family gives us.
Wanted to share this at this time, thinking that it just may be that you could gather together a few wooden balls about an inch wide for the grandpas and grandmas, a few slightly smaller for the children that come along because of the love Grandpa and Grandma have for each other, and then a few more even slightly smaller because Grandpa's and Grandma's children have also found love.
After all of the Stones are safely placed in the creche, a prayer is said and then the grandchildren take turns passing out gifts. As more are passed out the more colored paper is thrown on the floor, there is the sound of loud voices and happy laughter, celebrating the birth of their Savior and the love of their family.
Journey with Janette >