We were asked to share our favorite Christmas memories by the Elementary school. When I asked the crew what they thought was the best Christmas they came up with the following:
The Hutch crew has spent many years living far from their family. During those years we were not always able to travel at Christmas and we only had family come to us a handful of times. We created many traditions to make the holidays special. When we asked the kids what their favorite Christmas memory was they said the times when we did not have to travel and could keep doing the things that are special to our family.
La Diva loves when Dad reads the story of the birth of Jesus from the Bible on Christmas Eve. The kids all crowd around to hear it and we have pictures of this special event from nearly every year. As they’ve grown older they take turns reading it or reading one of the books that have also become part of our traditions. We read “the Small One” and as a nod to Mom’s childhood we read her Hallmark Pop-up book of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. She also likes that we get to open our ornament present on Christmas Eve. Everyone looks forward to finding out what Mom and Dad have found for him or her to represent the year. They will have quite the collection when they leave home.
Iceman likes finding the pickle hidden on the Christmas tree. A Pickle on a Christmas tree may sound strange to some but we hide a glass pickle ornament on our tree. The child that finds it will get the first prayer of blessing from Dad and gets to open the pickle present. The pickle present is a gift that can be enjoyed by all the kids and is usually a book, a board game, a video game or a DVD. Isaac can’t wait to see what the pickle present is this year and hopes that he gets to find it.
Turtle said that he likes the birthday cake we make for Christmas Eve. We’ve had several kinds over the years but his favorite is angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. We light candles and sing “Happy Birthday to Jesus”.
Kodiak said his favorite part about staying home at Christmas is being able to stay in our pjs when we open presents on Christmas morning. His Grandma likes everyone to be dressed up in their Christmas best…. he’s a teenager and he doesn’t like getting up any earlier than necessary.
Other traditions at the Hutch during the Christmas season are for each child to do a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child, to help our community in some way by being involved in their Christmas program in some way and giving to those who are not as blessed as we are. We also celebrate the season of Advent by making a wreath and lighting a candle and doing a devotional each Sunday. This year we have a new tradition that uses a homemade Advent Calendar to help us to focus on the important things during this busy time of year. Each day has activities for us to do that range from “being kind to someone we don’t like” to “making popcorn and watching a movie as a family”. Of course we love all the food, the decorating and opening presents too.
We hope you enjoyed a peek inside the crew's favorite memories of Christmas. We wish you a blessed Christmas and a New Year that is filled with life's richest blessings of love, peace and joy! Enjoy your time with those you love.