Tra­di­tions

Read­ers share the many ways they cel­e­brate Christ­mas.

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Stitched To­gether

We started our stock­ing tra­di­tion in 1990. Each year when a new fam­ily mem­ber was born, I would cross-stitch a Christ­mas stock­ing as a gift for the baby. As we added more plus-ones to the fam­ily, each per­son re­ceived a hand­made stock­ing. At Christ­mas we en­joy hang­ing all of the socks to­gether. This photo is from 2017, show­cas­ing nearly 30 years of stock­ings. NORMALEE ISERN Ellinwood, Kansas

Grandpa Claus

My hus­band, Lynn, plays Santa for our eight grand­chil­dren, from left, twins Max and Cole, El­iz­a­beth, Kaylee, Alyssa, Ben, Mor­gan and Saman­tha. The kids are the fifth gen­er­a­tion of Stankes to make syrup at our sug­ar­bush. Our youngest grand­daugh­ter is al­most 5 now, and she is con­vinced that her grandpa is the real Santa! It’s a sweet tra­di­tion that puts a lit­tle ex­tra magic into Christ­mas. CINDY STANKE Char­lotte, Michi­gan

Top­ping the Tree

Many years ago, my hus­band’s grand­mother made the an­gel that stands at the top of our Christ­mas tree. In our tra­di­tion, our four kids take turns putting the an­gel on the tree. In the pho­tos be­low, my hus­band, David, lifts our son Ben, 1, for his first turn at plac­ing the an­gel in 2005, and then 12 years later for Ben’s fourth turn. The tra­di­tion cre­ates spe­cial mem­o­ries. JESSE NEVE Min­netrista, Min­nesota

Cook­ies with Mom

When I was young, candy was a rare treat, so I looked for­ward to mak­ing cook­ies with my mother at Christ­mas­time. It was fun and ex­cit­ing be­cause there were cook­ies to eat ev­ery day! Now I share this tra­di­tion with my daugh­ter Lore­lai, who en­joys dec­o­rat­ing the cook­ies, too. JOANNE KUECKER Black­burn, Mis­souri

Christ Is Born

My fam­ily has per­formed the Na­tiv­ity on Christ­mas Eve for more than 35 years, with each of our eight chil­dren join­ing as Baby Je­sus when they were in­fants. Fam­ily mem­bers act out the Christ­mas story, dress­ing up in cos­tumes made with bathrobes, fab­ric and faux fur. Be­tween Bible verses, all join in singing car­ols as I play the gui­tar. At the end, we al­ways sing “Silent Night,” and peace fills the house. This beloved tra­di­tion helps us fo­cus on the mean­ing of Christ­mas. JAROLYN STOUT Hur­ri­cane, Utah

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