Holiday Family Traditions + A Fireside Story

Happy December to One and All!

There are many great things about the Holidays and Christmas – the lights, the many opportunities to eat cookies, the opportunity to give, and the chance to gather with family and friends.

Many of us have traditions with our families. While some things change, the core of these is to spend time together, to gather as a family and remember why we like each other as we bond.

Growing up, my family always opened new pajamas on Christmas Eve and wore them all day on Christmas – it is always important to be dressed in your finest PJ attire on Christmas.

We also listened to Christmas music starting in August – that’s a tradition most of my family is good about keeping. This is one of my favorites from growing up.

Last month, a friend mentioned their family would read The Little Matchgirl by Hans Christian Anderson every Christmas Eve.

A friend mentioned a few weeks ago that she and her family would read The Little Match Girl every year for Christmas. I can see where diving into the tragic winter tale by Hans Christian Andersen can bring us together as only stories can.

If you want a version that is true to the original, I recommend the Disney short or a live action one available here.

However, part of why I wrote The Matchgirl and the Magician was to take away the sting of tragedy from the original, to give a brighter hope when the tale reaches its end.

In that spirit, I recorded the first chapter and put it together with a yule log so you and your family can gather around the virtual fireplace and listen to a tale of two lonely soles finding each other on a night when fire might freeze.

From this point in the story, Adeline and Rompell, the stranger who pulls her from the snow, begin to form their own family, establishing their own traditions. Both have a past full of love and loss that helps bring them together as father and daughter.

Families are not just selected by DNA. Families are more built by the connection we feel, the experiences we share together, and the charity and love we have for each other.

Whatever shape your family takes (I believe mine is squiggly), I hope you are able to gather with those you love and enjoy a warm holiday and Christmas season.


  • What are your favorite family traditions?
  • What shape is your family?
  • What tragic tales would you like to see a happy ending to?
  • How many cookies do you think you will consume this holiday season?

Other Favorite Christmas Things

  1. Every year, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints promotes Light the World, a movement to focus on service and giving this holiday season.

  1. If you don’t already have tissues handy, I would recommend getting them before watching this iPad ad (not that Apple needs more advertising). It came up three times the other night, and each time my sister and I had to dab the corner of our eyes.

  1. Here is the live action version of the Little Match Girl I mentioned earlier. This is very well done and may also require tissues.

  1. Another sweet one is this final scene from a Doctor Who Christmas Special that follows A Christmas Carol. I haven’t quite figured out how to work in A Christmas Carol into Pippington, but am sure the Dickensian nerd in my heart will find a way. It will probably involve less spaceships than this version.

  1. On a lighter note, another one that doesn’t need advertising but is very enjoyable – Noelle now out on Disney +. A friend described it as “Elf meets Enchanted” and it is adorable. Also, some of my friends want most of Noelle’s outfits.

  1. And finally, the Holidays just wouldn’t be the same without Picard serenading us through the season.

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