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#9 : Heritage and Family
Why cherishing your heritage and family tradition is important
Christmas is the season for gift-giving, caroling, rich food and joy. It is also the season for creating and remembering family memories and traditions. These family traditions can instill in families a sense of togetherness and comfort. Christmas can also be a great time to teach and remember family history.
Here are a few suggestions of how to incorporate your own family history into your Holiday celebrations:
The week between Christmas and New Year’s, which is a little quieter than the weeks leading up to the holidays, is the perfect time to take your children to the Family History Library and teach them how to do genealogical research. Just a little bit at a time to make it something different and fun.
If your ancestors’ traditions included celebrating the whole season of 6 December, St. Nicholas Day, to 6 January, Epiphany, you might consider doing the same.
Think of hanging tree ornaments or other decorations that are either from or visually represent the country of your family’s origin.
As you do genealogy, look for examples of ancestors born on or around this special time of year and then look up histories to see what life and Christmas celebrations were like at the time of their birth.
Gather quotes and stories from family histories, diaries, journals and letters that talk about past Christmases and holiday traditions. Then read and explain them to family members.
If, like my family, your ancestors came from different places, then you might consider focusing one ancestral line on one night, Mom’s customs on New Year’s Eve and Dad’s family traditions on Christmas day, like cooking a traditional Christmas or holiday dinner before (or after if you’re really eager) opening the presents.
Whatever you do, it will help make your Christmas celebrations richer and more complete and will help pass on your family traditions to the next generation.
Music, laughter and Christmas family recipes are ingredients to a memorable holiday celebration and yes, grandma’s singing.