Christmas traditions; old and new

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Our first Christmas, celebrated in 1966, with my parents in L.A., Ca.

Our first Christmas, celebrated in 1966, with my parents in L.A., Ca. One of our little elves is behind us under the tree.

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This year’s Christmas tree.

 

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As this Christmas rolls around and we are decorating I pull out some favorite things we’ve had since our first Christmas together 49 years ago. We have kept some favorite Christmas traditions and things like old ornaments, and a pair of small elves just as special as all the Christmases we’ve had together. Added to those in the last several years are some collected antique Children’s toys that now come out each year and are placed under the tree. The village set I have is arranged and placed in front of my fireplace, and our nativity set, displayed on another table.

Through the years we have collected a large number of tree ornaments of all different kinds. The little silver-colored travel trailer our daughter calls the ‘silver Twinkie’ looks identical to our Airstream travel trailer up on our mountain property. She gave us this one. The little teapots and cup and saucer miniatures hang as reminders of my love for hot spiced tea. Little bear ornaments bought at Yellowstone Nat’l Park and the Grand Canyon bring back memories of those trips. A little yellow lab that looks like our beloved deceased yellow lab, Titus. There are homemade ornaments I’ve created using old eyeglass lenses holding favorite tiny photos of my husband and girls taken many years ago.

A couple of years ago friends gave us a ‘pickle’ ornament that tells the story of the pickle placed on German trees. Children would hunt for the pickle. So, this new ornament and the hunt for the pickle buried among the tree branches was added to our ‘new’ traditions.

As a child growing up I loved the traditional old Christmas carols sung in church. There were caroling parties,  nativity plays and programs we were in, dressed in angel costumes. The special choir and orchestra concerts performed each year of Handel’s Messiah or other Christmas cantatas told the story of Jesus’s birth in Bethlehem. I sang in some while singing in church or school choirs.

As the years went by some traditions we kept while adopting new ones, like taking our youngest daughter to go see the Boulder Ballet and Longmont symphony orchestra perform the Nutcracker, and going to a dinner theater show at a local venue. They all held a special place in our heart as we celebrated Christmas.

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Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

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