Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Traditions

               Christmas has always been a wonderful time for our family.  Mama and Deddy always made every effort to make sure each Christmas was special.  Travis and I used to get up on Christmas morning around 3:00 A.M. and we would not go back to bed until the next night.  We spent time with our families, shared meals together, played with whatever we got and just had a great time every Christmas.

                Each year we would go to Mema and Papa Cameron’s on Christmas Eve. My cousin Kevin would always be in a rush to get home so he could go to bed.  He was mortified of the possibility that he might be awake when Santa Claus came by.  We would go to Mema and Papa Brafford’s on Christmas morning.  When I was younger, we would also go to my Great Grandparents house on Christmas Day.  There was always a good time and a lot of love everywhere we went.   I am so grateful for the life that I was blessed with.  There was never a time in my childhood that I did not feel unconditionally loved.  But I was also very appreciative of everything. 

                Over the years, things have changed somewhat but we still have traditions.  We still spend Christmas Eve with Mema Cameron.  I made a snowman pencil when I was in the 2nd grade and gave it to Mema.  She still puts that pencil on her tree to this day, 37 years later.  Travis made one about 10 years ago, but she doesn’t really like his as much and puts his on the bottom of the tree in the back. Uncle Boyd’s Christmas Party has become one of things that I look forward to most each year.  The jokes and insults are always in full force at Uncle Boyd’s.  But its always in good fun and everyone enjoys the great camaraderie.  Everyone starts asking about the party months in advance.  I always check with Uncle Sammy to see if we need to modify his rules in any way.   Mema Brafford passed away this year but most of the Brafford’s are going to get together on Christmas morning.  I think Mema would have wanted us to get together.  Travis and I have taken Mama Christmas shopping almost every year since Deddy passed away.  Mama and Travis get me worked up each year and I have a cuss fit.  They actually provoke me to have it because they seem to think its funny and I guess I do too.  I’ve always appreciated the fact that mine and Maria’s families live close together.  We can get to most of our family within 15 minutes, and for us that is a true blessing.  Tonight when we leave Mema Cameron’s, we will head to Mamers to continue celebrating Christmas Eve with the Stewarts.     
                One of the traditions that I truly miss is decorating the house we grew up in.  Travis lives there now and we continued to decorate it until about 10 years ago.  It wasn’t that we didn’t want to do it.  But lack of time just became a problem.  We used to start decorating in October and by the weekend after Thanksgiving, we had the house very bright!  I’ve considered assembling a team and returning Boyd Brafford Drive to Christmas light glory, but we’ll have to give that more thought.
                Church has also been an important tradition in my life.  I’ve always loved the decorations and beauty of the church at Christmas.  I know we all love the cantatas, the children’s programs, the outpouring of love and the story of our Savior.  I am humbled by the story of Jesus every time I hear it. 

                As we celebrate Christmas this year, I hope that all of your families are blessed with happiness and peace.  We go through so much during the year, that I think everyone deserves some time to spend together and be with the ones we love.  Just remember, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you;  Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” And that’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.

May God bless all of you and Merry Christmas!