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Holiday Traditions

December 15, 2016
by Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

The hustle and bustle of the holidays starts at Thanksgiving and wraps up with the beginning of the new year. It all revolves around family and the laughter of little children makes the picture complete.

Tuesday the preschool class was at the Post office for a tour. Their little voices were so bubbly as they asked questions and related experiences about the mail. Each little one mailed a letter. Postmaster Mike DeWall let each one see how it dropped into the bin after they poked the letter through the slot.

Then came the big moment when children mailed a Letter to Santa. DeWall told these little ones that their letters go directly to the North Pole after they drop then in the special blue mail box. Little eyes got huge and the excitement built when he told them Santa may even answer their letters. What a thrill for these little ones -- and all of us who watched.

That's what the holidays are all about. Building excitement for special family gatherings. Beginning today, we have responses from second and third graders about "What Christmas Means to Me." These young ones are already recognizing family traditions. Be sure to read them today - and next week, too.

Family traditions and special holiday memories were related at roll call at the Palo Alto Garden Club holiday luncheon. A couple of the ladies talked about writing Letters to Santa. One said they would burn the letter and the smoke would carry the message to the North Pole, so they always hoped for a south wind. Many others talked about special family gatherings.

Thinking back to my childhood, my sister (the instigator) and I were always very inquisitive on Christmas eve. We got up in the middle of the night and searched through our Christmas stockings, placing each item in order so we could return everything to its proper place. We would act so excited the next morning. Little did we know, our grandmother (who was visiting and slept on the couch) watched us, but never told anyone until years later. As a result of those antics, my sister and I wrap everything.

With my grandchildren, they would wake bright and early (after their parents and I were up late) and come to get me. To keep them busy until everyone else got up, we would construct a gingerbread house from a kit. In fact, we still make gingerbread houses on Christmas morning. Maybe this will become a tradition for their families, too.

Families come together for the holidays to make memories and build traditions.

What do you want for Christmas this year??Recently I read that as we get older, our list gets shorter - because all we really want is to be with family.



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