Christmas is a time when each family enjoys its unique traditions. While some Christmas traditions are passed on from generation to generation, others are born out of a desire to do something new and meaningful. Here are some ideas for creating your own Christmas traditions.
Family Christmas Activities
Read aloud a Christmas book or story each day. While it is fine to include fun books, look for some with richness and depth. Depending on the ages of your children, you could choose pictures books such as The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey or short stories from collections such as the “Christmas in My Heart” series by Joe Wheeler. Every December 23 bring out a new book or story for that year and read it for the first time.
Children love to “camp out” so consider sleeping in sleeping bags in front of the Christmas tree one night. Munch on snacks, leave the lights on all night, and make a special memory!
Keep a simple Christmas scrapbook. Each year add a page or two with details about how you celebrated as a family, favorites gifts given and received, and people who shared the holiday with you. Add a few pictures, scraps of wrapping paper, and a sample of the Christmas card and Christmas letter you sent out that year.
Give your children the opportunity to act out the Christmas story from the Bible. Read it through several times beforehand, discussing the most important aspects. Then have your children plan and present a play for family and friends.
Rather than just purchasing Christmas decorations at the nearest big box store, consider making your Christmas decorations also a part of your family history. For example, purchase a Christmas ornament each year while on vacation or whenever you go some place new. Then when you take out the ornaments each year to decorate the tree, you can reminisce and remember the fun moments you have shared as a family. This is one of my very favorite Christmas traditions. Our tree is a mixture of ornaments that almost all have a story attached to them.
You can kick off the season with the same music each year. Every year when we begin decorating, we turn on A Winter’s Solstice V. As soon as “The Simple Birth” begins to play, we know it is the Christmas season.
Food is often an integral part of Christmas traditions. For many people, the food associated with the event is just as important a memory as the event itself.
Consider serving the same kind of food each year while decorating the tree. It could be ordering Chinese take-out or making homemade pizza. Maybe your family has cocoa and cookies, or hot spiced cider and homemade donuts. Whatever you choose, consider making it a tradition each year to enjoy the same snack or meal while decking the halls for the holiday.
Watch a favorite Christmas movie such as It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, or Miracle on 34th Street and have a snack or appetizers dinner. Choose favorite finger foods and snacks to much on while enjoying a classic film.
Giving to Others
Christmas is ultimately about giving. This is a great time to give to others, especially those who might otherwise go without.
There are many ways to sponsor a needy family for Christmas. Most churches know of families in need of help. Make arrangements to anonymously provide a family with groceries and appropriate presents through the church.
Many organizations collect gifts to distribute. Whether it is Project Angel Tree or Toys for Tots, you will know your gift is going to a child in need during the Christmas season.
You can also create a shoebox for a needy child through Operation Christmas Child. These easy-to-assemble gifts can be an incredible blessing to a child far away.
Enjoy creating meaningful Christmas traditions with your family!
Advent Calendars for Your Family
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