Christmas is a time of traditions, surely nothing unless “sex,” is so set about with customs designed to set the mood and make it happen.

I started thinking about this after reading a post on a blog I’ve been following.  Very evocative as he recalled a difficult time and a family tradition started then.

It encouraged me to comment back:

In our early years in Ghana we did not have a tree, though we did have a small one later that my mother-in-law brought out. It made it, fully decorated, to a couple of the High School Christmas pageants- and we stayed late because of the many who wanted a photograph taken in front of it. My foster son did not understand why something that lovely wasn’t also brought out to grace Easter.

But every year, treed or not, we set up our eminently packable Advent Wreath, and sang family carols around its light every evening of the season. To our children that is now far more central to Christmas than a decorated tree.

(We use purple candles for the wreath, other than the white one for the Christ child- a colour not always easily obtained. I had plenty in Ghana though, because once, in the early years when not much was available in stores I chanced into an establishment that had one long aisle given over to one kind of toilet paper, and another stocked entirely with boxes of purple tapers. Go figure. I immediately laid in a supply that lasted us for years.)

Every year, as we sang, one of the boys’ favourites was always:

So, I’m asking, “What makes Christmas happen for you?”


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