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Friday, Feb. 12, 2016

Family traditions

Posted Friday, December 21, 2012, at 9:04 AM

So many families have traditions they carry out each and every holiday season. I am going to share some of my favorite family traditions and hope that you will share some of yours as well.

First and foremost, I feel it necessary to recognize the REAL reason we celebrate this Christmas season -- the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

At my Granny Pat and Papaw Larry Fougerousse's house, we always gather in the family room after having breakfast on Christmas morning while one of the kids reads the Christmas story from the Bible.

It's been neat to see my younger cousins grow over the years and have their turn reading the story. The past few years, my oldest child has been the one to read the story. This year, I think my oldest two children will take turns reading. As a Christian parent, I feel that's so important. It's so easy to get caught up in the hoopla of shopping and presents. We all just need to remember the birth of Jesus Christ is why we celebrate this wonderful Christmas season.

Until the last year or so, my Fougerousse side of the family (immediate and slightly extended) gathered at my great-grandparents house on Christmas Eve. My great-grandpa passed away in 2001, and my great-grandma is 97 and now in a nursing home, so that tradition has come to an end. As a kid, I remember my cousins Ashley, Brandi, and I always looking out the front window watching and waiting for Santa to come. He'd come up on Grandma and Grandpa's front porch and would always have a special treat for us. We'd sit on his lap and tell him what we wanted for Christmas. I finally got out of sitting on Santa's lap when I was 20-years-old and 9-months pregnant. I think my family feared I would crush poor Santa!

A tradition my husband and I started before we had kids was to sponsor an Angel Tree child or purchase toys for Toys for Toys. When we had kids, we wanted to keep that tradition going. It's a simple way to teach the kids the importance of giving back to those less fortunate. It makes me feel good to see the smile on my kids' faces as they pick out toys and clothes that other children might enjoy.

When decorating our Christmas tree, we love signing Christmas carols. Just a week or so ago, we all gathered in the living room, turned off all the lights (except the Christmas tree) and sang carols. It was so much fun, and the kids really enjoyed it.

I don't want my kids to look back on their childhood and just remember what presents they received. I want them to remember the things we did together -- singing Christmas carols, decorating the tree, making cookies and other treats, etc. Making memories with your kids is so important. I don't remember what gifts I received each Christmas, but I can definitely recall so many good memories.

What traditions does your family have? What traditions do you remember from your childhood?

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Halea Franklin
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