Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Traditions (part 2)

Dear Moms,


To continue with the Mongan Family Christmas Traditions, let’s talk about the Christmas Tree. We all know that it would not be Christmas, without the tree, symbolizing that Jesus is the tree of life. “ If you abide in Me and my words abide in you, you can ask anything and it will be done by my Father, who is in Heaven..“ We must all be Grafted into the Tree of Life. SO this is my Scripture for the Christmas Tree
. In our family finding the PERFECT CHRISTMAS TREE was a huge event. We would pick a Sunday close to Christmas, and head off to the Tree Farm. We would all ride the Hayride, at the Farm , then begin “THE HUNT.” I’m going to tell you the truth, the hunt is long and the hunt is hard, because my husband will not settle for anything less than perfection. Once our Tree is spotted, agreed upon by all and applauded, my husband, just like a faithful woodsman, chops down the tree with the help of all who are willing. Then we all get back on the Hayride, where the tree farmers, bag up our purchase, and my husband secures it to the top of our mini van.
Once home, in pops the Christmas CD’S ,as I begin making the Wassail, and the Hot Chocolate and everyone begins to decorate., our tree . That is, after my husband and sons have dragged our perfect Tree from the car to the great room. Once finished decorating, we all agree that it is the BIGGEST AND BEST TREE EVER. It is true family bonding in action and builds memories that are sure to last a lifetime.
I won’t tell you about the Christmas Tree Hunt where the tree actually fell off the top of the Mini van and never made it home. You’ll just have to read about it in my newest children’s book, “THE TREE THAT SAVED CHRISTMAS.“
The Christmas Tree is truly one of my favorite Family Traditions. It wouldn’t be Christmas without it.


The Scripture for this tradition is,, “IF YOU WANT TO BOAST, BOAST IN THE LORD.” Every Thanksgiving Day , we gather together as a family and take the annual Christmas Picture. I , being a prior planner ,coordinate a color for all to wear, in advance and , most often, buy all the grandbabies matching outfits in advance, as well. Doing it at Thanksgiving, gives me enough time to get the photograph printed and sent out on time for Christmas. Plus our family is usually all together at my moms on that day. Some years, we opt for a beach picture on our Family Beach Trip or a Wedding Photo, depending if there is a Mongan Family Wedding that year. I have to be honest, no matter how well planned this family picture is, some people always complain and a few have been known to sabotaged the picture. One year on Beach Trip, a family member, who will remain anonymous, got other family members to wear sun glasses, while the phoghapher was snapping the shots. It was not a pretty picture.
In October I write the annual Christmas Letter.. It is one of those typed form letters, but it always comes from the heart. .It is more than a Family News letter or as it has been called, a “BRAG LETTER,” It is a way to share my faith with 500 of my favorite people, plus their family members. I make it my goal in the letter to Honor The Lord as well as, to share what God has done in our lives that year. I also l make it my aim in this letter to point the reader to Jesus. The family Picture and Letter go out together. Think about making this family tradition one of our own. Remember, “IF YOU WANT TO BOAST, BOAST IN THE LORD.”


This is my commandment that you LOVE ONE ANOTHER, that you joy may be full, are the words of and old song. The words to that song are of course taken from Scripture. The way we live out that Scripture in our home is thru the Tradition called THE CHRISTMAS BASKET. Each year, all the Christmas Cards that we received are saved in a Basket which we place in the middle of our kitchen table. Then each night at diner, one child picks one card out of the basket. My husband proceeds to read the card out loud and then I share a little bit about that family, either memories of times together or even who they are and how we know them. I, later on in the week, write a letter to that family encouraging them in the Lord and telling them that we prayed for them. Some years, I opt to give a phone call instead of a letter. This is a great way to connect with old friends thru out th year. It is also a way to really enjoy the cards and letters sent to us. You know how busy Christmas can be and we usually rush thru the cards----the Christmas Basket is a way to treasure the cards and make Christmas last all year long. I challenge you to try this tradition, the children will really like it and it will teach them to Love One Another by praying for one another . Check out the website tomorrow for more Christmas Traditions. I will close now because I have to make my yearly Christmas Baklava.

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