A Christmas Passed.

All of a sudden your Christmas Traditions aren’t traditions anymore!

In a moment (it seems) our family has grown up and Christmas Traditions aren’t the norm anymore.

Note: since I first wrote this post in 2016, there have been many wonderful changes to our Christmas experiences. I’ll update that towards the end. But as you’ll read the original post, I was lamenting the changes of that time – not realizing that change can be exciting and good:

It happens in a flash. They tell you it will. You know it will. You even know at the time that it is…and then, all of a sudden, you know it DID. Therefore, it seems, Christmas traditions evolve.

Family dynamics change. All of those years of anticipation and child-like joy about the holidays are over. (They actually had been for several years.) I think I was just pretending and hanging on to them as long as I could.

I am a traditional kind of gal who loves to recreate the same experiences every year, like:

  • new jammies on Christmas Eve
  • the same Christmas Eve dinner
  • Saint Lucia bread on Christmas morning
  • attending the same candlelight service
  • listening to the same Christmas music each year
  • watching Christmas movies

Now, for the first time in thirteen years, neither of my girls will be singing for our Christmas Eve service at church. They won’t be here on Christmas Eve.

Image of Christmas Craft
Popsicle stick Advent toys I made
23 years ago. I still put them out every year.

This Christmas Eve it will be just us and the baby in the manger. No cooking all day, keeping it warm while hurrying to and from the first service, home to have Christmas dinner with family and rush back to church for the candlelight performance. No prayers in the pews for healthy voices and calm nerves. It’s just us this year for Christmas Eve.

I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about. You’ve been there! Maybe you have a new round of grand-kiddos to share the excitement?

Change happens and so do Christmas traditions. I mean, let’s face it, my Saint Lucia bread hadn’t risen right since we moved to our new house, ten years ago! It actually became a tradition to laugh about the candle-lit flatbread with gooey orange icing and dried cranberries we had every Christmas morning!

One of my favorite memories was the St. Lucia wake-up:

Our girls would sleep in their white American Girl pioneer gowns and bonnets. In the wee morning hours they would put crowns on their heads, tiptoe into the kitchen and make us a treat. They would wake us with singing, a chocolate-y coffee-like drink, and Christmas cookies on a tray. It was sweet, if not so tasty!

So it’ll be a quiet Christmas Eve, but a beautiful one, I know. There’s nothing like singing Silent Night by candlelight in our filled, beautiful church. Then on Christmas Day, our oldest will fly in from New York, the youngest and her boyfriend will pick her up at the airport, drive a few hours and our celebration with family will begin. We will have a new menu, new music, and some new people…and I think some new jammies will still be in order!

Christmas Traditions
One year they sang outside the mall for the Salvation Army ringers at Elsa and Anna.
Image of Paige in Christmas Traditions
Paige performed in Miracle on 34th Street in Rochester, NY
Image of Jacq in Christmas show
Jacquelyn performed for Myer Dinner Theatre’s Christmas show.

UPDATE: It’s 2020 and boy, have things changed! I’ve loosened up a lot on our traditions and this year is like no other! Our girls are 28 and 24. AND we have a son-in-law! A few constants in our Christmas experience are family gatherngs, carols, hymns, Silent Night by candlelight, adult jammies and celebrating the Christ-child born to save us all. And Christmas quilts…

Image of Noelle Quilt
Noelle Quilt Pattern

Thank you for following my blog. Blessing to each of you this Christmas and throughout the new year.


  1. Merle deneke

    Oh, Karla, I’m so sad, I can’t read very much now. Have to do it later, I’ve been through these days, and things get better, but hard at first. Hang onto those memories. I’ll read more later.

  2. The Bee

    Oh, Merle, I’m so sorry to make you sad. It’s all good. Really, you must read on to me making fun of my Saint Lucia “flatbread” every year! It’s just a process to work through. Thanks for following!