I love Christmas traditions. Hallmark has been running a commercial where a deployed soldier receives a recordable Christmas book from his son. I don’t remember the exact phrase they used, but it was about Christmas traditions keeping families together. That is so true.
My family has a few traditions that were started long before I left home. One of our favorites is 12 Days of Christmas. It was started by my Nana. She would make up small gifts for my Mom’s family and my uncle’s family. We would open our gift every day starting 12 days before Christmas. The gifts were usually some yummy treats or some neat nick-knacks that correlated with the song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas.” There was always a funny saying with each gift. She has continued this tradition even as I (the oldest grandchild) have moved out and have a family of my own. It’s really exciting, especially for the kids.
Another family tradition that we have always loved is the family Christmas Eve party. My extended family all gathers for food and games. This is also usually planned by Nana. When I was a young child, “Santa” would also come visit us. It was very exciting for us and something I will always remember.
Since getting married and starting my own family, Mr. Simple and I have started a few traditions of our own. They are small, but still very meaningful. Every year we build a gingerbread house. Last year was the first time Bug was really able to help us. We will certainly do this every year.
This year we started doing daily Advent activities, and I hope to continue that tradition for many years.
You don’t have to do anything extravagant to create a Christmas tradition. It can be something as simple as baking a favorite cookie every year or reading the same story every Christmas Eve. Even baking a birthday cake for Jesus could be a fun tradition to remind your kids about the true meaning of Christmas. Some other ideas include playing a specific board game or watching a Christmas movie every year.
Traditions are really wonderful. They create memories that truly bring families together. My hope is that one day my kids will look forward to the traditions more than they look forward to the gifts. Looking back, I can’t really tell you what I got for Christmas as a child. I do remember getting an apple and an orange in my Santa bag, but I don’t remember anything else. I can tell you that I remember “Santa” coming in to my grandparents’ living room and I remember talking to him and being so happy surrounded by my brothers and my cousins.
Christmas is most of all about the birth of Christ, but it’s also about creating some happy moments with your family.