Families celebrate traditions of sharing over the holidays


FOR MANY, the holiday season is a time to pause and celebrate with cherished old traditions or the beginning of new ones. A quick survey of some holiday practices of northwest Carroll families yielded ideas for sharing.

T. R. and Laura Wailes celebrate Christmas on their Taneytown farm with as many family members as possible. This year, Laura's and T. R.'s parents will join their children and grandchildren, Kelsey, 6, and Lindsay, 10, for a traditional Christmas dinner.

"We try to have a goose every year," said T. R. "Sometimes it's been hard to do, but we found a butcher in Littlestown who can supply us with one. We stuff it with apples, pears, raisins, grapes and garlic. It's great."

Tom Hurst, director of On Earth Peace Assembly in New Windsor, said he and his wife, Jan, and their sons Jonathan, 16, and Zachary, 13, try to think beyond themselves as part of a holiday tradition.

"One of the things we do that I like a lot is decide where to give away the money Jan and I have saved throughout the year. We ask the boys for their input. We've enjoyed doing that -- it's helpful to focus on what we're giving away, and to whom.

"It helps teach the kids about the importance of looking beyond self -- it's an important job of being a parent," Tom Hurst said.

Scott Morgan, father of five and pastor at Frizzellburg Bible Church, said he and his wife focus on the religious meaning of Christmas.

"We keep the gift-giving very low-key, we don't visit Santa, and focus on the fact that it's Christ's birth," he said.

They also encourage the children to give part of their allowances to a cause, a person, or a missionary. This year, they're giving to a prison fellowship that provides gifts to children of prisoners in Maryland.

"In doing these things, we can deal with the material aspects of Christmas and keep them under control," Morgan said.

Library mitten tree

When you visit the Taneytown branch library you'll notice the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, waiting to be decorated with new gloves, mittens, hats, scarves, socks and slippers for the needy.

Information: 751-1980.

Pub Date: 12/19/96

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