Finding Your Family's Christmas Traditions

Finding Your Family's Christmas Traditions

By the time Christmas arrives each year, I've already been counting down for weeks. The lights, the sounds, the songs, the hustle and bustle, the beautiful packages, the fresh baked cookies — I love it all!

As the pace around us quickens, we can almost feel the anticipation in the crisp cold air. The culmination of all our merrymaking is coming with the celebration of Jesus’ birth.  
If you’re like me, it can be easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of the season. But as a parent, I have to grab hold of every opportunity to share why we celebrate Christmas. In parenting, traditions help us teach our children who they are as part of our family as well as who they are in God’s family.

Traditions reinforce our most fundamental values. That's why traditions are important any time of year, but especially around Christmas. Children gain a sense of security and belonging as they experience traditions. And it’s through traditions that our faith has been shared from generation to generation. Psalm 145:4 reminds us that God is worthy of praise every day, and it’s our role as adults to share God’s great works from one generation to the next.

Traditions don’t have to be grand. It’s the meaning behind them and the togetherness that makes them special. If you’d like to start family traditions or add new ones, here are some ideas to get you started.

Four Christmas Traditions to Start This Year
1. Read the story of Jesus’ birth together as a family.
The story of Jesus’ birth is found in Luke 2:1-20. Whether you choose to snuggle up by a cozy fire, read a different part at bedtime each evening, or take turns reading over breakfast, reading the Christmas story draws us closer to Jesus by reminding us that He came to us.

2. Give a deeper meaning to gift giving.
A few years back, we started the tradition of giving our kids four gifts. "Something you wear. Something you read. Something you want. Something you need."
It's has been a lot of fun to watch as they learn to value and appreciate receiving the things they need and wear as much as the things they read (our girls love books) and want.

Something you wear - It can be anything from a new coat or boots to a fun shirt or even a fancy dress (again we have girls).
Something you read - Reading is the best gift you can give your kids in my opinion. It cultivates creativity and imagination, it tells amazing stories (both fiction and nonfiction), and it opens up a world bigger than anything they currently know.
Something you want - Really?!?!? I think this is a pretty easy one!
Something you need - You can be pretty creative with this one. Maybe clothes or bedding, or something they need for a sport they are involved in or other activity. As long as it's a need...it works.

3. Do something unique and fun.
Some of our favorite family traditions are the simple ones. It doesn’t matter that they’re simple. They’re ours and that makes them special.
Whether it’s baking Jesus a birthday cake, caroling in the neighborhood, drinking hot chocolate, or taking a late night drive to see Christmas lights, simple things build the foundation of a healthy well-rounded childhood. Include your children in the planning of some simple and fun new traditions this year, and watch their faces shine!

4. Attend a Christmas service together as a family.
Attending church together is a tradition that goes far beyond the holiday season, but there’s something extra special about Christmas services. This gives everyone in our family time to pause and reflect on the goodness of God. God gave us His one and only son, Jesus, to be our Savior.
There’s no better time to start attending church as a family than this Christmas. Christmas services at Jenks Church are special and something you’ll be talking about for years to come!

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