Friday, December 4, 2009

Adapting Christmas Traditions to Your Circumstances

Christmas traditions are great memory makers. Perhaps the Christmas traditions you grew up are now the traditions in your family. You may have had to change and adapt the traditions to fit new circumstances.
An example from my life has been Christmas lights. When I was young my Dad always hung a string of lights around the front door and window. We also had lights on the Christmas tree which was put in front of one of the windows. It was comforting to see the string of lights when we came over the small hill leaving town and heading for our home. Our home was one mile away from town with only had a couple of neighbors between our house and the town, so it was easy to see the Christmas lights on our house. Our town was only about 300 people in size. I think there may have been a few strings of lights put across the street, but most of the lighting was done by people on their own homes.
In the city fifteen miles from our town there were several strings of lights across the street. Sometimes the red and green lights being confused with the signal lights caused problems. They also decorated an evergreen tree in the park.
After getting married we lived in Salt Lake City. We didn't hang lights from the roof. Instead I put lights around the windows and also on the Christmas tree which was in front of a window. We had a tradition of always going to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights there which was always spectacular.
Then we moved to a small town of about 6000 people. There were a few lights put up on main street. We put a few lights up around windows and doors and on our Christmas tree. We couldn't go see a big display of Christmas lights like we had at Temple Square, so on Christmas Eve we would climb in the car and drive around town looking at all the lights on different houses.
Our traditions had to change as the circumstances for our family changed. Christmas lights remained an important part of our family's traditions even though things were different over the years. I have often wondered what my grandparents and great grandparents did when it came to lights and Christmas. I've wondered if they put candles on their Christmas trees. Who was the first to have electric lights, and when did they start putting them on their trees. It would be interesting if they were still alive and could share their story of Christmas lights. Since they are not and I don't have their stories, I feel it is important to share my story. Write down your story of Christmas traditions in your family so your family will know what you did.

No comments: