Christmas is just a few days away, so we thought we’d take a break from the holiday mayhem to share a few of our staff members’ favorite Christmas traditions:
Mary Margaret Gibson (Ministry Director):
Christmas really starts for me after our EvanTell Christmas party. Our Marathon Fellowship class at Stonebriar Community Church gets our Angel Tree, so we can shop for the people who live at Prairie Estates. This is a great tradition to buy clothes and personal items for the people who live in this nice assisted living facility. We have so much fun shopping! We always make sure that there are EvanTell materials in our package. Our gifts go to assisted living and nursing home residents, many of whom don’t have anyone who visits them. They have a Christmas party, too!
Holly Morrison (Graphic Designer):
In 1952 my dad’s grandmother, Trudie, began making the grandkids personalized stockings for Christmas. She made 11 stockings in all plus 2 for her sisters who never married. It quickly became a tradition for the mothers to make either their son-in-law or daughter-in-law’s a stocking to match their spouses’ stocking and eventually make their kids’ stockings. We have a lot of traditions in my family, but this is one of my favorites. The best thing about these stockings, besides the attention to detail and being homemade, is that they are LONG stockings. Which means you can stuff it with tons of candy and toys! My best Christmas memories as a child are walking down the hallway into the living room with my eyes shut tight then opening them up to see all the gifts Santa brought and then eyeing my stocking that was overflowing with candy and toys. We always see what’s inside the stocking before opening any gifts. [note: the picture at the top is of one of their family stockings]
Danny Ray (VP of Operations):
To cut down on the pressure and costs of finding gifts for every family member, on Thanksgiving everyone writes down three things they would like that costs $25 or less and we draw names—brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. Everyone is only obligated to purchase one present off the person’s list—everyone gets one thing that they said they wanted for Christmas. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we try to send out Christmas cards that include one picture of our family, with a story and a little spiritual truth that goes along with it. I normally try to pick up the current year’s story from where the last story left off. I think people look forward to the story I dream up more than anything else.
Then, on Christmas day, we all get up late in the AM, get “dressy” and fix breakfast together, normally with Christmas music blaring over everyone’s conversation. After breakfast, we all sit down to read the Christmas Story from the Bible and sing Christmas carols. We then open our presents and take a family photo.
I think the one thing that we do that helps us keep our focus on the “Reason for the Season” is pulling names early over Thanksgiving. We all get a gift that we say we needed, as we remember the gift we needed most of all!
Feel free to share some of your favorite holiday traditions in the comments! We'd love to hear what makes Christmas special to your family.