As I sit at my desk on this snowy December morning, the snow continues to lightly fall outside my window and the evergreen branches look like they have been dusted with powdered sugar.  I am baking Stritzel bread today, a recipe that has been a family tradition for us for over 100 years.  When my grandma died at the age of 94, she had never had a Christmas without Stritzel.  She told me once that her mom and her grandma also had never had a Christmas without Stritzel.   I love that she taught me how to make this yummy treat and I am passing the recipe  and tradition down to my daughter.  My daughter  is only ten but I hope one day she will make it with her children.  How fun and unique that is to our family.  I love Christmas traditions and I enjoy talking to other friends about what is important to them during this time of year.

I was having a chat with some friends this past week and we were all  sharing our family traditions.  What I loved most about this was the fact that  it is not only the tradition itself that we love but those family members that came before us and either started or continued the tradition.  As I mentioned earlier, for me the tradition of baking Stritzel bread makes me think of all the fun times I did this with my grandma.  I called her Momo and I loved her dearly, and still miss her terribly; especially this time of year.  One friend shared how they cut down their Christmas tree from their property up in the mountains and then drink hot coco out of their special Christmas mugs.  Another lady shared how they sit around the tree on Christmas Eve and read from the BiBle in the book of Luke where the birth of Christ is retold.  Many had baking memories and sledding stories.  One family buys matching hats and carols around their neighborhood.  Each tradition shared brought a smile to the face of the person sharing, sometimes giggles, and sometimes tears.  Christmas traditions are priceless.

Each person and their family story is unique, just like the snowflakes falling outside.  I believe snowflakes reveal both God’s creative genius and his concern for the smallest details on earth. Snowflakes form in a variety of shapes and sizes, each a unique creation from heaven, just like you and I and just like our family traditions.  A snowflakes journey begins high up in the clouds and continues as it slowly falls to earth where it makes a brief and sparkling appearance on a child’s mitten. In the big scheme of things, our lives are similar, we are only here for a brief moment in time.  I encourage you today to embrace your unique self and all that makes up your family traditions. Hoping one day someone I will never get the chance to meet this side of heaven will be baking Stritzel bread.

Enjoy this wonderful holiday season as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Merry Christmas and God Bless –