Family Blessings

Monday, December 6, 2010

My favorite memories of Christmas center around family. We’re a very close clan and very traditional as well. We’ve had the same Christmas Day schedule for as long as I can remember. We all arrive at my parent’s house early Christmas morning and enjoy a citrus punch called LeConte Sunrise while we wait for everyone to arrive. Then we gather in the den and Dad reads the Christmas story from Luke 2. After a time of sharing our blessings of the year and prayer we enjoy a scrumptious breakfast: egg strata, ham, sausage balls, muffins, fruit, and an assortment of jellies and jams.

Next it’s time to process, in order of age, to the basement for the giving of gifts. We attempt some semblance of order as we open our gifts and some years it works better than others. We always stop to watch my parents open their gifts. We all “ooh” and “aah” over the sentimental treasures that unfold.

Then we all go to our homes or to other relatives for the afternoon and re-gather at my home in the evening for our traditional Christmas Dinner of turkey and dressing with all the trimmings. It’s usually my responsibility to have a game, word puzzle, or trivia for us all to play around the table. It seems we end up closing every family meal, whether it’s a holiday dinner or Sunday lunch, the same way. We share humorous stories of days gone by. Believe me, when you’ve shared as many family vacations, worship services, meals, movie nights, school experiences, and holidays as we have, there are endless stories to tell. Our family has lived through many tragedies and triumphs together. We have a deep and abiding love for our Savior and for each other. This Christmas we’ll enjoy another season of shared blessings and probably create a few more stories to tell.

I would love to hear about your family traditions. Please click on the title of this blog, “Family Blessings.” Then if you scroll to the bottom of the page, you’ll see a place to make your comment.
Enjoy these ideas for celebrating with your friends and family this Christmas.

Christmas Blessings Mix
This year count your blessings with Christmas Blessings Mix. Small bags are filled with a snack mix. Each ingredient reminds us of a holiday blessing.
Bugles: Bring us the joyful message of the Heavenly Host, announcing peace on earth, good will to men.
Pretzels: Symbol of a mother's loving arms; as Mary wrapped her Son in swaddling clothes and laid him in the manger.
Red Hots: Red berries that decorate the holly plant, a reminder of eternal life and Christ's redemption.
Nuts or seeds: Promise of a a future harvest, one we will reap only if seeds are planted and tended with diligence.
Dried fruits: Remind us of the rich gifts brought by the Wise Men.
M&Ms: Memories of those who came before us to guide us to a blessed future.
Hershey's Kiss: The love of family and friends that sweetens our lives.

Christmas Blessing Mix Recipe
2 cups Bugles brand corn snacks
2 cups small pretzels
1 cup cinnamon imperials candy ("red hots")
1 cup dried fruit bits or raisins
1 cup peanuts or sunflower seeds
1 cup M&Ms-brand chocolate candy
16 Hershey's-brand chocolate kisses
4 copies free printable bag toppers

In a large bowl, gently mix all ingredients except Hershey's Kisses.
Place 1/3 to 1/2 cup Christmas Blessing Mix in small cellophane treat bags or zipper food storage bags. Add one Hershey's Kiss to each bag. Seal bag or fold down top to seal.
Print 4 copies of the Christmas Blessing Mix bag toppers

Cut out tags, and attach one to each bag.
Makes 16 Christmas Blessing Mix gift bags.

Sharing Jar

The holidays are always great times to share special memories with friends and family. In order to stimulate ideas, consider using a “Sharing Jar.” Write questions on slips and paper, fold them, and place them in a jar. Pass the jar around the table and ask each person to select one to answer. Consider using these questions.

When you were a child, what games did you play in your house or neighborhood?
What is your full name? Who were you named for? How do you feel about your name?
What activities do you enjoy doing today that you also enjoyed as a child? Describe them.
What special skills did you learn as a child? Who taught you?
What were you best and worst subjects in elementary school? In middle school? In high school?
Do you have special childhood memories of playing with cousins? Talk about them.
How did you first meet your in-laws?
What is your favorite thing to do at home?
What is the one invention you could not live without and why?
What is your favorite animal? Tell why.
Who was a special teacher when you were in school?
How did you first meet your in-laws?
Who are some of your favorite people? Why?
What were the favorite places to go with your family when you were young?


Friendship sms messages said...

A very good idea my friend! Isn't it so wonderful to take little things like this and relate it back to our Savior? We should remember him in all this is a good thing! Come say hi :D

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