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Christmas Potpourri

Christmas Traditions

Last weekend I had the honor and privilege of performing the wedding ceremony for our Englewood family members, Peter and Shelby Chrusch. It was wonderful standing up there and seeing the love between two people who have walked through more together in their young relationship than most couples do in a lifetime. Celebrating their love during this Christmas season was especially meaningful.  
I have been reminiscing about the first Christmas Julie and I celebrated together as husband and wife. I love the traditions we have kept over the years. Some of them we brought into our marriage from our own childhood traditions and some we have made up together within our family.
Growing up, as far back as I can remember, my family and I would watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation together starting on Thanksgiving Day. There was never a set number of times, but we would watch it at least two or three times during the holidays. I have seen it so many times whenever we watch it now, I get in trouble because all I do is quote it. Julie lets me watch it with her at least once during Christmas.
Every year during Julie’s childhood, her family had the tradition of opening up one gift on Christmas Eve. The gift would always be a new pair of pajamas. We have since continued that tradition with our own family. No matter where we are or who we are with, we open up our gift of pajamas on Christmas Eve.
When Julie and I had the twins in 2012, we started our own tradition. To this day, we always pick a day to go to Bass Pro Shops, so the girls can get their picture taken with Santa Claus. We started when the twins were six months old. Ellie was only 2 months old when she got her first picture with Santa. It doesn’t matter if the Bass Pro is thirty minutes away or two hours away, we make the time to go because it is an important tradition in our family. 
Traditions can be funny or serious, but the point of traditions is to bring people together. What traditions do you participate in to help bring you closer together with your family and friends? What traditions do you have to bring you closer to God? During this Christmas season, think about adding, if you don’t already, some traditions which bring you closer to God. Maybe it’s attending a Christmas Eve service, or reading Luke 2 as a family, or going to a live nativity at a local church. The whole reason we celebrate Christmas is to be closer to God. The name given to Jesus was Emmanuel, which literally means “God with us.” God was willing to send His one and only Son to the earth, so He could be close to us. What better way to celebrate the season than to have traditions with Jesus.