I do not have to go deep to know the answer to this question.
The answer is in my heart. It is what my Mother brought to me each Christmas holiday.
I have tried to emulate that feeling and atmosphere in my own home with my children and family.
The emphasis was never on the gifts in the past or present. Though the gifts were always there whatever could be afforded and nothing more. Beautifully wrapped and presented with ever lasting love.
The more important traditions I followed are these.
A home radiating the Christmas spirit. A large tree trimmed with lots of sparkle, each ornament put it's perfect place and an angel atop in a glitter of white and gold. When I was young our tree at home had a blue and silver star at it's top that lit up. My mother had blue and white lights with reams of tinsel each strand put on separately .
Mom always had something simmering of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves on the stove. Christmas eve candles were aglow. My old upright piano was decorated with greenery and red candles. The food was amazing. I am the same as my Mother, the emphasis is on lovely tasty food and drink presented with holiday flare.
Christmas music filled the house from radio or records in the olden days, today I have Pandora radio on the computer and my favorite C.D's playing. Also I play Christmas carols as in days of old on the piano. In our household throughout the years young and old have gathered around the piano on Christmas Eve to join in and sing Christmas songs.
When it was time to pass out the gifts the task was given to one child. All were passed out and then each in turn opened one gift while the others looked on. Christmas evening the children were allowed to open one gift. That is what I did as child also.
Christmas day today for me is still the same. A lovely Christmas brunch after gift opening. A dinner in the early evening of ham and all the trimmings. In between the eating events family or friends stopping by to extend Christmas cheer and perhaps bringing little home made goodies.
The feelings more than the deeds bring sweet things to my heart. The smells of Christmas, the holiday meal, the evergreen aroma of the tree, the spices, the candles even the fire crackling and of course the music.
As the years go by and I see my daughter doing the same tasks for her family as I did for mine and my Mother did for me and it brings me such joy.
So I say to you whatever your traditions keep them going. For they will bring to you much in return. A heart full of love and peace for Christmas's past and present.
I will be starting my Christmas decorating in a week or so. I set up the house first. Then we get the tree and hubby and I together spend one evening decorating while sipping hot buttered rums and listening to Christmas music. That is one of our traditions we have kept going for thirty years. It is our time alone to celebrate the Christmas spirit as we reminisce about Christmas's past. Each ornament that we hang on the tree means something special to us. Also as I have mentioned before we hang my Mother's glitzy silver and rhinestone jewelry on the tree. So she is still a big part of our Christmas as we reminisce about her while hanging her jewelry.
So I am a Christmas person but not in the sense of shopping till I drop. In the sense or hearth and home.
I can feel it starting to settle in already just listening to Christmas music. I do look forward to the next few weeks in preparation of the old traditions.
So to you all have wonderful holiday season and a Christmas filled with whatever it is that takes your heart home.