In His Image

Sisters sharing the journey

This Day in History December 24, 2008

Filed under: family — Amy @ 05:00
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‘Tis December 24, the day before Christmas, and all through the land, families will send excited children to bed with a reading of Clement Moore’s classic poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”

Moore is thought to have composed the tale, now popularly known as “The Night Before Christmas,” on December 24, 1822, while traveling home from Greenwich Village, where he had bought a turkey for his family’s Christmas dinner.

Inspired by the plump, bearded Dutchman who took him by sleigh on his errand through the snow-covered streets of New York City, Moore penned A Visit from St. Nicholas for the amusement of his six children, with whom he shared the poem that evening. His vision of St. Nicholas draws upon Dutch-American and Norwegian traditions of a magical, gift-giving figure who appears at Christmas time, as well as the German legend of a visitor who enters homes through chimneys.

From the Library of Congress history website

I have tried and failed to create concrete family traditions.  I envision our family reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas every December 24th, but we’ve only done it once or twice.  Presents seem to be pretty concrete (ha! Try losing that one!), getting together with family, and a big Christmas meal, but nothing creative or different.  Have you successfully carried out a tradition at Christmas that is rarely veered from?  Please share it with the rest of us!

What traditions have hung around your family for years?


5 Responses to “This Day in History”

  1. Laura D Says:

    Well, Amy, we don’t have any set traditions (besides presents, as you said!) and it makes me feel better that I’m not the only one! I wish we did but Christmas just seems to come and then go again each year with little difference…perhaps that’s the tradition itself. 🙂

  2. Stephanie Says:

    I’ve always envisioned our family having traditions that look like a Christmas Card moment, but like you, that didn’t work. One tradition that has stuck with us, besides the presents, is going to the movies on Christmas night. I guess you can probably figure out why that one easily became a keeper :-), but it is fun and something we all look forward to.

  3. Karen C Says:

    As my children have grown and left the house I found that one of my survival things for Christmas morning became a tradition, that when stopped was missed by the children. (I will try to bring it back next year.) Whether we realize it or not we are making traditions. It does not matter what they are, just make them happy ones.

  4. amyadair Says:

    Great insight, Karen. I think you’re right that we do have traditions, even without thinking about them. Thanks for your comment!

  5. dana Says:

    My own tradition that I had with my children was that the gift they got from Santa was very small and inexpensive. I remembered, as a child myself, going back to school after Christmas holiday and hearing some of the children telling about the really nice gifts they received from Santa. Then the children, from less fortunate homes, saying what they got and some that were unable to get anything at all.

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