By Sara Laub
In my daughter’s class in school the teacher has requested to have a scrapbook page made to share the traditions that our family has. My daughter chose Christmas traditions. I have needed time to think.
My family is young and we still travel to our extended family each year for Christmas. Each extended family has their own traditions but I was unsure if my family had our own.
We celebrate Christmas away from home by doing a nativity with music by singing or playing instruments. It is always extra fun to beg my father to get his accordion out. A train will go around the Christmas tree and my husband’s mother makes sure the presents are carefully unwrapped to ensure a second use of the paper. There are the traditional breakfasts that accompany the holiday as well.
As we experience these traditions that rotate each year it has been difficult to create our own, and it is hard to fill a scrapbook page with unknown family traditions.
I could fill it in with the extended family traditions that we participate in but I realized that Gunlock has created a unique family tradition that is special for our family, as well as the other families in town.
Families gather at the Town Hall and the children 12 and under present a nativity with Christmas songs and a narrated story of the Savior’s birth. They dress up according to the part they each play that year ranging from angels, shepherds, wise men, Mary or Joseph (and possibly animals).
When the children finish the presentation of the nativity story they take off their costumes, and the rest of the crowd sings Christmas songs together as they wait for the special appearance of Santa Claus. Santa will come in with large bags of gifts, and he gives one to each child. The children each have a chance to sit on Santa’s lap and talk to him as he gives the gift to them. Even if children are absent for the program, Santa makes sure they get a present.
I realize many people in Gunlock don’t need to hear the specifics of the traditional program in town, since families have been attending for generations. But, the program is special and the tradition is open to all who live in Gunlock regardless of how many years individuals have lived here.
A true spirit of Christmas resides in Gunlock as it opens it heart to every person who lives in this town and shares this special tradition.