Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Traditions

   Now that I have a child this Christmas I have been thinking of what I want to be our family Christmas Traditions.

Here are my top 10 possibilities

  1. Having and Advent Calender 
  2. Picking a Angel Tree child per our kids
  3. Driving to look at Christmas lights
  4. Seeing Santa at the mall
  5. Volunteering at a shelter where less fortunate children will be spending Christmas
  6. Family Christmas Pictures 
  7. Opening special pj's on Christmas Eve to wear for Christmas morning
  8. Watching a Christmas movie Christmas Eve
  9. Attending Christmas Eve service
  10. Special Christmas morning breakfast
    These are just some of the ones that I can think of off the top of my head. I think doing all of it won't be too much, spread out over the month of December. I just know for sure that I do not want my children to think that Christmas is all about them and the presents they can get. Christmas is ALL about Christ coming to be our Savior  so that we may have eternal life, the BEST gift of all.  I want to always keep gift giving low on the Christmas priority list. No TONS and TONS of gifts.

Some questions to ponder:
What are your traditions?
What is the focus of Christmas at your home?
What would you change, if anything about how Christmas is celebrated at your home?


  1. Noel Piper (John Piper's wife) has a great book on traditions. I like her section on Christmas: Advent calendar & Shepherds gift/stocking. One of our traditions is a "family birthday gift for Jesus". We decide on a gift to Him by giving as a family to someone in need or a ministry. We also hide Baby Jesus in the Nativity and on Christmas morn find him and place Him in the manager. Have you read her book? It's great!

  2. there's something about having kids that makes you really think about this stuff, huh..

    Well, some things that we do tradition-wise is having fondue (parmesian cheese dip) with tons of things to dip in it from pretzels to shrimp. It's different and festive with my red pot and candle. The leftovers keep going and we like to do that over the month. Making cut out Christmas cookies together is another one. I also have a picture from each Christmas with the year on it that I hang on the wall. My Mom used to do this with fabric frames that she'd make. I make the frames with paper. You could get a little frame from the dollar store or just fold christmasy looking paper around the edge of a picture to give it a finished look. Anyway, it's fun to see "over the years" and the kids growing up.

    New traditions that we've started this year are to let the girls pick a present and get to open/play with it when we decorate and put up the tree after Thanksgiving. It worked this year the way I wanted it to and got that "I want such and such for Christmas" thing out of the way.

    The focus for the holiday season for us is to do things together. We read outloud some nights while the daddy plays on the floor with the girls or we will set up the projector and watch a christmas movie together and string popcorn. Generally, we have a bit more hot chocolate and candy canes this time of year together too. This year I also added a "game night" to the mix and got four new games that I thought the girls would like and wrapped them, so each week they get to open a new game and we play together! I'll save the last one for Christmas day. I think I'll have a cake for Jesus' birthday this year so the girls understand what we are celebrating.. and that it's not about getting presents for them.. it's about giving something to Jesus. Picking a charity to give to seemed to be a good way to help them see that.
    We are still doing stockings on Christmas morning for fun, but won't have tons of presents under the tree by any means.. the stocking stuffers are almost just like party favors or something.

    What I'd like to do differently for next year is do an "operation Christmas child" to let the girls fill a shoe box for a needy child. This has to be done closer to Thanksgiving though and we missed it this year, but I think that would help them to think of other people who are less fortunate and so forth. I also might do more of an advent calendar thing in future years.. didn't get around to it this year. My Mom has done a lego advent thing with my little brother... it might be fun to do something similar to that with my girls... not sure how yet though. :]

  3. I always loved the Advent calendar. Even though we already knew what was behind each door, it was such a thrill to open it. Did you ever have the Jesus in the manger with the hay? Every time we did something nice we got to add a piece of hay to his manger to make it softer for him. That's kinda of powerful - yet easy to relate to for a little kid. Worked on me - and I want to bring it back for my 2 year old :) Thanks for the reminder!


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