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The greatest tradition
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In the south, we love tradition. Maybe it's because in our ever- changing world we find comfort in knowing that some things can stay the same.

Christmas is a special time of year, and I try to share with my children simple traditions I remember as a child.

The annual Christmas program at church and Christmas with grandparents are just two of many memories/traditions I try to pass on to my children.

Another tradition (I know, I have shared with readers over the years, but bear with this old man) is the Christmas tree.

I remember as a child going with my father to cut a Christmas tree on our family farm. The choice of trees was limited. Matter of fact, the only choice was the Eastern Red Cedar.

We would find a tree with a fairly good shape, but the wrong height; find a tree with the right height, but wrong shape. Cutting a Christmas tree as a child was a lesson in patience and compromise. It also taught me how to negotiate.

Every year I would watch my father try to convince my mother it was the best tree he could find. We never found a perfect tree but with "a little reshaping" by my father, and after my mother decorated the tree, it was always beautiful.

Christmas should be a time for peace - not only during the holiday season, but all year.

Let us set aside differences and work together with patience, compromise and understanding for the good of all. Peace on earth and goodwill towards others must start in our homes. Our children learn by example.

Why can't every day be like Christmas? It could if everyone had the true meaning in their hearts.

Years have passed, and some may say I want to relive my own childhood. What I am really trying to do, by way of simple traditions, is to teach my children the true meaning of Christmas. The true joy of Christmas is not receiving, it is in giving.

It would be wonderful if our desire for giving would continue throughout the year. The gift of kindness and goodwill towards others would be an excellent start.

Christmas is a time of being with those we love. With my family and friends, I know I am blessed.

Teaching our children the true meaning of Christmas is the greatest tradition we would ever start.

Clark Beusse is the Dawson County extension agent. For more information, call (706)265-2442.