Traditions for Togetherness

Winter holiday rituals are some of the most sacred and beloved, from Christmas tree decorating to cookie baking to lighting the family menorah. There are so many things to celebrate during this time of year, and there’s always time to make new traditions to continue filling your homes with joy during the holiday season. These three local ladies offer their families’ favorite ways to prepare for the holidays and spend time together during them.

Photo by Heather Jackson Photography
“Christmas is such a special time for me. I enjoy cooking, decorating, and just spending time with family and friends. As a family, we have many holiday traditions, but the one tradition I most enjoy is watching holiday movies with my daughters Taylor, Sydney, and Tori. On Christmas Eve, after we have shopped until the stores closed, we will go home, stretch out in the family room, and commence wrapping Christmas gifts and watching movies. We have two must-watches: ‘This Christmas’ and ‘The Preacher’s Wife.’ We watch them both as if it were our first time ever seeing the movies.”
Martina Harris
“Our Christmas tradition has always started with my mom joining me to deck the halls. We flood the house with Christmas carols, and of course, we dress for the occasion with our Christmas headdresses and aprons. We also tell stories and share in the laughter of past Christmas memories. Every tree in the house has a special meaning. The most meaningful tree is the tree in our great room that the house was built around. In order to put it up, my husband George has to come close to swinging from the beams to top the tree, which he is never happy about (laughs). Our Christmas memories continue on in our other trees that are adorned with the angels that we now have in heaven. Every year, placing each angel on the tree is a remembrance of God's goodness by giving us that special loved one in our lives.”
Paula McDaniel
“My favorite Christmas tradition with family is our Christmas movie night, where we eat dinner together and bake Christmas cookies, then watch our favorite Christmas movies. We usually go for lighthearted ones like ‘Elf,’ ‘A Christmas Story,’ and ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.’ At church, I love the beautiful tradition of the Christmas Eve candlelight service when they light the final advent candle – the Christ candle – and everyone sings ‘Silent Night’ together and raises their own candles. I also love reading the Christmas story to my son on Christmas Eve.”
Mikayla Horton

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