Author Amber Schamel, Catherine Castle Holiday Blog, Christmas without a Christmas tree, Holiday Traditions, Home for the Holidays
A Holiday Centered Around the Reason for the Season
by Amber Schamel
The Holidays at my house are unique. One of the most common comments I receive after telling folks I’m the second oldest of twelve children is “Christmas must be a hoot!” and let me assure you. It is.
You’ll probably be surprised to hear that my favorite Christmas tradition is…not having a Christmas tree.
WHAT? No Christmas tree? With twelve kids?
No, I’m not one of those people who doesn’t celebrate Christmas at all. I love Christmas, but unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this world that would like to take CHRIST out of CHRISTmas. My family wanted to keep the holiday centered around its true meaning, so instead of a Christmas tree, we have a manger.
This manger is homemade out of wood in a crude style that looks authentic. My brothers made it with their own hands, which makes it even more special. We put it in the living room and fill it with hay. Then my baby sister will contribute one of her dolls to serve as Baby Jesus for the season. We wrap it in a pillow case or something of the sort to act as swaddling clothes. We hang a star above the manger. When I was young, we cut out a star from cardboard and covered it in foil. Today, we have a snazzy light up star that blinks. 😉
The Christmas gifts are placed under the manger, just like the Wise Men might have done thousands of years ago. My family is big on gifts, so we end up with a LOT of them by Christmas morning. Even our youngest ones will work hard and save money so they can buy something at the dollar store to give their brothers, sisters and parents for Christmas.
To me, this tradition is priceless. It gives the young children a visual and emotional connection to the Nativity.
In what ways does your family keep the Christ in Christmas?
About the Author
Amber’s favorite Christmas tradition is not having a tree. Author of over half a dozen books, Amber Schamel writes riveting stories that bring HIStory to life. She has a passion for travel, history, books and her Savior. This combination results in what her readers call “historical fiction at its finest”. She lives in Colorado and spends half her time volunteering in the Ozarks. Visit her online at www.AmberSchamel.com/