A Christmas Eve Tradition Reborn!

Christmas is a time of traditions and memories. Some are too special to allow to fade…


Every Christmas Eve I would climb on my dads lap along with my siblings and our dad would read us the The Night Before Christmas. It was a wonderful tradition that we continued even until grown adults were crowding onto his lap. When I finally became a father myself one of the things I was eager to do was start my own family traditions.


Last Christmas my dad surprised me by giving me the very book he read the story from during my childhood!


We both took turns reading to my son, but not until after my dad read us a poem he wrote as he passed this tradition down to his oldest son:

‘Twas Our Night Before Christmas

Every night before Christmas
In th’ young Bastian hom
Eager children were restless:
“Dad Santa” would roam.

It was mostly our secret
To play Santa’s game;
But we knew it was Jesus
Who down to earth came.

For the kids, it’s a mixture
Of shepherds and elves,
Of both chimney and manger,
And toys for their shelves.

So now I, without nightcap,
Would sit in my chair
‘Till our four grown children
Would smother me there.

Gath’ring kids had a purpose,
For Dad would then read
“‘Twas The Night Before Christmas”,
Warm mem’ry indeed!

This old book I now give you,
First son of my four,
Just to read to your children
Yet Christmases more.

Oh, I wonder, in Heaven,
When Jesus sits down,
If we’ll all pile on top of Him
And smother the Throne.

Written for my son Karl
by Dad Bastian
December 2006


Now I get to carry on this tradition in my home, with the very same book!  So I was very eager this Christmas Eve to have my first fatherly reading of the story to my little boy.


Luke was delighted to sit on my lap as I proudly read to him the story my own father had read to me on so many Christmas Eves past when I was the one on the lap listening. But the bliss was not to last…


The story proved to be too long for Luke who soon considered Dad’s lap more a prison than a privilege. And eventually I had to surrender to the boy and let him down. (You can’t force a child into a loving tender momment!)


I dutifully finished the poem as Luke played with his new garbage truck.

Thanks, Dad, for being such a thoughtful Dad when I was a boy, and for still honoring me with your love and unshakable faith in me. I hope I can be half the dad you are to me still! 


My Christmas Family 2007!

More pictures soon!

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  1. Patty and I just read your post. First, I cried. Then, we both cried. Then, we were laughing and crying at the same time.

    I feel sooo honored.

    Love, Dad

    ps Tell Luke that I tick off the days of our life by how many days it is till the next garbage pick up. It’s like the only think I think about almost every day. “Garbage Day was yesterday.” “Garbage day is 5 days away.” “Garbage Day is tomorrow.” “Opps…forgot to set out the garbage.”

  2. Nice PJ’s there Karl! Dads rule!

  3. Nice matching sweaters…..is that Mickey Mouse in the corner of the sweaters? ;-)

  4. Merry Christmas! I love your family picture.

  5. What a wonderful passing along of a great family tradition! And I still am amazed to see how much little Luke look like both of you!!! Blessings on your family. May God bless us with adopted children soon – we can’t wait!

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