Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Tradition

Every year for Christmas,
we go to my parents house and open our presents on Christmas Eve.
Before my Mamaw passed away in 2001,
everyone used to go there.

It was the best. 
My Mamaw always cooked a nice turkey dinner with all the fixings,
and after dinner we would open our presents.

One year, back in 1997 I introduced a new Christmas tradition to my whole family.
I've always loved to write, and even more than that,
I love re-reading what I wrote years ago to see how much I've evolved.

I thought it would be a great idea to create a Christmas journal
for the whole family to write down their thoughts each year.

At first, I got a lot of bah hum bugs and naysayers
but I did get everyone to write something down that first year.

Now, it's tradition and everyone always asks if I brought the book.

One year, my brother-in-law, Rod, purposely forgot to sign the book
so the very next Christmas I wrapped it up like a present and when he opened it up,
everyone was rolling on the floor with laughter.

It has become quite a staple in my family.
If anyone else joins us for the holidays,
they aren't allowed to leave the house until they at least sign their name.

Yes, this is the original book and it still has pages to be filled.

The most precious page in this book was written by my Mamaw the year before she died.

Here is the page.  She had such a good Christmas that year. 
My eyes fill with tears every time I read it because I know what she went through the year before.

She was never much for writing, but that year she wrote  quite a paragraph.

I read it every year and I cherish her handwriting with all my heart.

Her words, her self expression, this is the best gift I have ever received.


  1. What an awesome idea and great family tradition! One that I know you cherish. I think that we need to give serious consideration to starting this as one of our traditions. Love that you shared such a sweet thing with all of us.

    Merry Christmas to you and your's!
    Thanks for being such a great blogging friend.

  2. Oh, JarieLyn that is such a beautiful tradition!

  3. Wow.. that's just a wonderful idea. What a book of memories. Clever you!

  4. That is beautiful and getting to read about your tradition(which YOU started!) made me smile a little this morning through my weariness and grouchiness(being a picture framer and 11 hour days at this time of year is no fun).
    We have always celebrated on Christmas Eve(including opening presents) and now we always go to my parent's house that night and my mother puts so much effort and time into the decorations and food.Makes me appreciate what she does even more, now that I read this, JarieLyn.
    Love that electric tree pic, too.

  5. It is a wonderful idea and even more wonderful that your mother was able to leave a bit of herself there for all of you to remember.

    I confess, I would be more like Rod, I am not much a writer and keep my thoughts intensely private.

  6. JL-thanks for sharing. And how sweet! Traditions and memories are wonderful things! Merry Christas sweet girl!

  7. Awww JarieLyn, reading your Mamaw's words brought tears to my eyes. She had such lovely handwriting. I know how much you cherish handwritten letters and notes so I can see how this is such a treasure to you.

    Also what a wonderful idea and a great tradition. I love it! Merry Christmas and thank you for all the kind words you leave on my blog. Trust me...the feeling is quite mutual, I thoroughly enjoy your blog as well :-)



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