Saturday, December 3, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

"A tradition is an activity that sets us apart in order to bring us together."
(Karen Burton Mains)

It's interesting to remember how some of our family traditions began. Sometimes they were well thought out traditions, prayed over, and planned - and then sometimes they just happened. 

Our Christmas Ribbon (or Christmas Chain) tradition was one of those that was just handed to us. It was in the late 1970's when we were young parents living in West Point, NE. As my parents lived far from us (across the ocean in Japan as missionaries), we were blessed to have an older couple in our church "adopt" our young daughters - and Don & Martha became like grandparents for our kids. 

Martha came over one day shortly before December one year, with some "Christmas Ribbons" all prepared for us to use with our daughters - a fun way for them to count down the days until Christmas Eve. Each evening they got to untie a little candy, and as the candies disappeared, they could see that Christmas was coming closer, and closer. It was an exciting thing that they looked forward to every evening - and the start of a tradition that stayed with us all through the years when our children were at home.

As more little ones joined our family (so blessed to have four daughters and two sons), I would make additional Christmas Ribbons so they each had one. And now, this tradition is continuing on, and our daughters are making them for each of their children!

Carrie and Sara made a few more in 2010, when their little boys were one, and
old enough to join in on the tradition.

1st    to
is            the
longest      time
of       the       year.
Seems   as  the  old
Santa      never      will
appear.  How many days
to        Christmas?         It is
mighty   hard   to   count,    so
 this      little      candy      ribbon
will      tell      you      the     exact
amount.      Untie   a   candy   every
night   when   the   sandman  casts his
spell,   and   CHRISTMAS  EVE  will be
here    by    the    time    you    reach    the
B E L L !

Sometimes the little treats are wrapped individually before being tied onto the felt strip, and sometimes they are tied directly on without wrapping. I remember a few years where I had six ribbons to prepare - a few busy nights before December 1st!

I used a variety of treats over the years - sometimes wrapping up little toys, and sometimes used more nutritious little treats - but mostly, they were little candies or snacks. 

These photos are all from Christmas Ribbons that our daughters have made - sadly, I do not have any photos of the ones from when our kids were at home.

Thankful for daughters sharing all these photos with me! It warms my heart to see them continuing on with some of our family traditions - and I also love to see them starting new traditions of their own, as well.

Jake and Cole, excited on December 1st this year!

Levi's and Ali's - one down, and 23 to go till Christmas Eve!

Cruz's Christmas Ribbon last year - about halfway to Christmas!

Luke, Abigail, Brianna, and Crystal - on December 1st this year!

All nine grandkids are counting down the days till Christmas in the same way that their mothers did! There were other traditions that we used that also led up to Christmas, ones with deeper meaning - but it was also such fun to have this tangible, fun way of counting the days. The little ones want the days to go by faster, and, of course, as moms and as grama, we want it to slow down. So many memories to treasure in our hearts, and so much to do to prepare for Christmas!

Linked to One Project at a Time, Living Well Wednesdays, Delightful Order

1 comment:

  1. What a cute idea! You could put treats in for the kids or dollar store items for adults. I like the poem on the Christmas tree, too!