So if you didn’t gather from the last post, I love Christmas!! I love the lights. I love the combining smells of cinnamon and conifer. Of course, I love every excuse to bake all things yummy and pretty. But what I love best are the stories. No shock there as I am a writer. In fact, every year that I am able I reread Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and A Cricket on the Hearth. This year I am adding, In the Dark Streets Shineth, if I can manage it, to my grown up Christmas reading.
But more than that I am adding two new Christmas traditions. Before I tell you what they are though, I am going to riff on tradition a bit.
I’m not one who is all for tradition for tradition’s sake. Too often we get stuck doing things just because that’s the way we’ve always done them. But thoughtful, meaningful rituals that mark the passing of the year can have a powerfully positive affect on our lives. Traditions connect us to our heritage. They remind of the struggles of the past, where we came from, and help us keep perspective as we move into the future. When we disregard tradition simply because it is old, we may call it out-dated, we lose the part of ourselves that is humble enough to learn from and honor the past and those that have gone before. And Christmas is a great time both to show reverence to that past and also to learn from its mistakes.
So this year, since my goals for the New Year mostly center on being the kind of mother I want to be, I am starting a new tradition with my kids. I have a pretty impressive collection of Christmas books. It is time they saw the light of day, and lit up my children’s lives. So this year, and I hope every year from now on, I will engage in a kind of literary advent calendar. A Christmas story every night. I do have a few that are a bit longer, and may take more than one night to read. And despite my kid’s young ages, I anticipate miraculous results. We will culminate with the story of the first Christmas read from the Bible on Christmas Eve. I will pop in each week to tell you which books we read and how they went.
For my second new tradition I wanted to start a yearly event for this blog. My favorite blogs have something that they do every year that is either fun or meaningful, so I figured, me too! So every day this week we will hear from a different author about the Christmas traditions they remember from childhood or do with their kids or whatever! Anyone who comments on the post will be entered into a drawing. We have four wonderful e-book prizes: The Anika Arrington bundle including The Accidental Apprentice and Mechanized Masterpieces- A Steampunk Anthology, Tamara Passey’s The Christmas Tree Keeper, Margaret Turley’s Never Again, or Diane Jortner’s Chimmeken Crossing the Delaware: An American Historical Fantasy. Winners will be announced on Sunday Dec. 7th. I hope you will enjoy getting to know how the Christmas Spirit is kept alive in their lives as much as I have. And that it inspires some new Christmas traditions of your own! Good Luck and happy reading!