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Christmas Gift Ideas: Passing Down Christmas Traditions and Memories

Tiffany Drinnen

Christmas means a lot of things to different people. It truly is a magical time of year as normal day-to-day problems donít seem so significant and a true happiness seems to come from within. When I was a kid, Christmas was something so special that I still canít explain it fully in words. It was that feeling in the pit of your stomach when school finally let out for winter break and the holiday was really upon us. Every year, my mom would bake cookies with us and would let us help decorate the tree. The house just permeated with cinnamon and it always felt so warm and welcoming. Living in Colorado gave us the luxury of snow and the need to use of our fireplace day and night. The image is still in my head of nighttime, in our living room cuddled up with the dogs, the snow falling outside, and all of us watching some Christmas movie or special on TV.

I have tried to mimic this as much as possible for my own son, but I think it is fair to say that your own mother always has that special touch and ability to make Christmas the best time of year. Perhaps I do that for my son, I hope I do. I want him to have that excitement Christmas morning that all he really wants to do is scream. I hope the anticipation of Santa Claus brings so much magic to his heart like it did for me. I try to decorate our house with traditional Christmas decorations and make our tree something that we can look at and feel joy. My mother knew how to almost transform our house into this cozy and holiday-filled home that made you feel like you never wanted to leave. I honestly never wanted to leave. I hope I am close to providing that feeling for my son, as I know how special it really does feel. I have carried on some traditions from when I was a kid to my son now. We put the Christmas tree up and decorate it the weekend after Thanksgiving. We have to make cookies, a bunch of them! We open one present on Christmas Eve and the rest Christmas morning. We open up our stockings first before the presents. Before those presents are opened, I have to have a least one cup of coffee as it usually is about 5:30am. I now know why that cup of coffee was so important to my mom Christmas morning. We donít clean up the wrapping paper after each present; it is such a sight to see that floor covered in wrapping paper and surprises. And our tree doesnít come down until the weekend after New Yearís.

I think we make the magic for our childrenís memories and it is important that we do. We carry on traditions from different generations in our families. We produce the joy and happiness that the holidays bring. It honestly isnít about the presents or how much money is spent; it is about family and what we can provide for each other. My son gets to bring back the magic that is Christmas for me and I get to create it for him. We get to be the little family that we are and celebrate a time of year that is important religiously. So when the last gift is opened and the ham is cooking in the oven, another Christmas morning has passed and a thousand new memories have been locked up tight. I wish every child has a place To Call Home at every Christmas.


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