For our final day of 12 Days of Guest Bloggers, my brother-in-law Adam Jones is sharing about a special family tradition he and my sister are continuing with their kiddos (my ADORABLE nieces).
See the Previous Days of Guest Bloggers:
Four years ago, for our second official Christmas together as a married couple my parents gave my wife, Lydia, and I a very special gift: our own copy of The Night Before Christmas. It has been a tradition of my family for as long as I can remember to read the Night Before Christmas on Christmas Eve before we go to bed. I am excited to continue this decades-long tradition with my children.
When my brother and I were little we would put on our pajamas and curl up with my parents around the Christmas tree to read this story before we finally called it a night. The house was decorated in endless strands of tinsel and hundreds of lights, a myriad of candles and ornaments from babies’ first Christmases, an angel on the tree, manger scenes, and even a small, waxy set of four red and white candles shaped like Santa’s boots that belonged to my Father – one of the few artifacts that remain from his childhood family memories.
On Christmas, Eve Dad would read with excited anticipation how this magical character named Santa Clause, shrouded in mystery, was on his way to bring us toys. Even though it was always terribly difficult to go to sleep amidst all the excitement of Christmas this timeless tale encouraged us with visions of sugar plums on a sleepy, dreamy, snowy night. Through its colorful imagery we imagined how silent our house would be as we lay sleeping, how Santa would come down the chimney in a flash delivering presents and be gone long before we ever awoke Christmas morning. We learned a great majority of the typical, American traditions of Santa and Christmas from this story, including the names of Santa’s eight, tiny reindeer. It taught us all of the magic and wonder of Christmas.
This Christmas we are officially beginning a number of Christmas traditions, including this one, with our growing family. On Christmas Eve our girls, Nova (age 2) and Thea (8 months) will be dressed in their Christmas pajamas and will open their stockings. We plan to fill stockings with a Christmas movie, popcorn, hot cocoa, and Reese’s Christmas Tree chocolates. After the movie and treats from the stockings, we’ll get settled in for the night, and sit down around the Christmas tree to read the Christmas story. My hope in continuing the tradition of reading The Night Before Christmas to our girls is that they will be filled with the same sweet, dreamy anticipation that I felt as a child of magical flying reindeer, of Santa bringing presents down the chimney, the excitement of a joy-filled Christmas morning.
The Night Before Christmas is a more abbreviated version of the classic poem originally titled “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” from 1823. Our copy of The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Edition. It is full of beautifully illustrated pages with a perfect jolly Santa and handsome reindeer. It also has the poem written in one of the first pages and we plan to read the poem to our girls as well. Our children are little now but we look forward to many future Christmases where we can continue our special family traditions and build more memories.
Bio: Adam Jones and his wife, Lydia, recently moved to Nashville so Adam could pursue songwriting. He plays whatever instrument he can get his hands on. He enjoys comic books and movies in his downtime. He and Lydia have three daughters, Nova (2), Thea (8 months) are in here in their arms, and Phoenix is in heaven. They are expecting their second set of twins due summer 2017.