Monday, December 21, 2009

Family Traditions (Replay of 2006 Posting)

Here is a re posting of a Christmas Traditions posting I wrote in 2006. May your Christmas celebrations recognize the great gift our God made of himself for love of us.

Over sixty years ago Jack and Clarissa decided that it was important that a family have traditions. They built many over the decades as husband, wife and parents. Today (Christmas day) I will tell you about just one of these traditions.

Their kids called it "The Tableau" and it took place on Christmas Eve. It involved Clarissa and later older kids making costumes suitable for Joseph, Mary, Jesus, shepherds, kings and angels. In the beginning, when there just three kids, the roles of Mary, Joseph and Jesus were filled but by the time their oldest left home to start his own family all the roles were cast.
The tableau, of course, was a scene gathered about a manger. When all was set the father of the family reads the nativity story from the Gospel of Luke. At the end of the reading the mother led all in singing "Silent Night".

To the right is a Christmas Tableau from 1959. Jack is seated reading from Luke, "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child."
Many of the families of the next generation took up the tradition. Some expanded it or modified it but it continues to be called "The Tableau". On the left, from 1967, are the kids of a smaller family of the next generation. Families were now smaller and family pets and dolls were often drafted to fill out the casting.

In 2000 the descendants of Jack and Clarissa gathered for a reunion. The theme emphasized the Christmas traditions begun by them. On the right some of their grand and great grand children adjust their costumes and practice poses for the
upcoming Tableau.

As with any good family tradition, this one continues for many generations. Jack and Clarissa's oldest grandson now has a family of his own and he and his wife continue many of these traditions and meld them with those from his wife's family. In this last picture you see him reading from the Gospel of Luke as his kids and several of their cousins performed The Tableau in 2005.

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