Christmas Traditions You Can Try

Ways one family has celebrated the season over the years. 

Posted in , Dec 16, 2014

Baking Christmas cookies. Photo by Ghenadii Boico, Thinkstock.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you’ve probably already figured out that I’m one of those sentimental saps.

Yeah, I’m the mom who still has the washcloth with my child’s handprint in paint, the oddly-shaped piece of pottery, and other treasures my boys made during their childhood years.

So I guess you won’t be surprised to know that I love traditions–especially at Christmas. I was thinking this week about some of the Christmas traditions we’ve had in our family and thought I’d share them in case some of you might want to start them in your family.

Consider starting a Christmas journal. If my house burned down and I could choose three things to grab on my way out the door, this would be one of them.

It includes the yearly Christmas wish lists from our sons, details about who came to parties and for Christmas dinner, fun things we did through the holidays, sweet moments that happened each year, festive colored pictures from school, and handmade coupon gifts from my boys that I could redeem for 5-minute back rubs.

Sweet memories that are preserved forever.

Baking Christmas cookies. Photo by Ghenadii Boico, Thinkstock.Another tradition was making Christmas cookies together as a family each year. The boys and the floor were covered in flour, but we made memories and had so much fun. Now we’re continuing that with our grandchildren, and they love it and look forward to baking with Grandmama each year.

And since we wanted our sons to always remember what Christmas is truly about, we also made a birthday cake for Jesus. Yeah, sometimes in the hustle and bustle of everything else, we get sidetracked from the real reason for Christmas.

One of our sweetest traditions involved Christmas ornaments. When our oldest son was a newborn, we decided to buy an ornament every year for each child, and then when they grew up and became engaged, we’d wrap the ornaments and give them at their wedding showers.

It sounded so simple at the time, but that was the hardest gift I’ve ever had to give away. A lifetime of memories of little hands hanging ornaments on the tree, of cherished times together as a family.

Tears misted my eyes as I wrapped the box of ornaments and included a note to my son and future daughter-in-law that this was a box of memories that could now hang on their tree.

All of our sons cried when they opened the boxes at their showers. Yeah, their daddy and mama cried as well.

And then there’s my favorite tradition–the one that happens each Christmas Eve before our family opens presents. We pull the nativity set down on the floor where the little ones can see it, and then use the pieces as we read the Christmas story together.

And then we get on our knees as a family, thanking God for His amazing gift of Jesus. That’s happened every year since our boys were tiny. Last year I peeked while we were praying, looking around the room through a haze of tears.

Soaking up the sweetness of my priceless gift–the loved ones gathered in front of the tree. Listening to my adult children as they choked up while thanking God for His blessings and for the gift of His Son. And then watching earnest little faces as tiny grandchildren added their prayers to the mix.

I’m so grateful we kept these traditions. Why don’t you consider starting some of them as well! Take it from a mama who’s writing this with tears on her cheeks–someday you’ll be so glad you did.

Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of family, for the moments that we can share together, and for the precious memories that linger after those times. Most of all, thank You for the gift of Your Son. Remind us to celebrate His birth in a special way each and every Christmas. Amen.

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