I don’t get caught up in traditions all that much. Christmas, though, is a different story. I didn’t think we had all that many traditions, until I started listening to the kids talk the last few weeks. Apparently, we have a tradition of how we decorate the family Christmas tree and how we talk about the stories behind each ornament, we take a family picture in the church foyer by the ginormous, beautifully decorated tree, summer sausage and cheese at my Mom and Dad’s house and we have some Christmas Eve traditions between supper and the 11:00 PM Christmas Eve service. We had one of our favorite this last weekend. Our annual Birthday Party for Jesus with Ms. Rita. Ms. Rita is a very special friend to us.She was our neighbor and watched our two youngest children when they were babies. She’s another grandmother to them. At our annual BFJ we do different things each year. Some years we have played games, we always read the nativity story from Luke chapter 2, we always eat too much sugar, and this year we made gingerbread houses (it wasn’t a competition, but if it was…Grayson and I crushed it! But it wasn’t a competition.). What I’ve come to realize is that “what” we do is far less important than “that” we are doing it, and we’re doing it together as a family. There are times where I think what we do is silly or that the kids don’t really care or notice, but these little things have already become an important part of what Christmas means to them.
Reggie Joiner shared some great reminders for each of us about the importance of traditions. He writes:
- Traditions give children a sense of security. They provide consistency in a world that is constantly changing.
- Traditions can build a bond between family members. Quality time together has the potential to nurture important relationships.
- Traditions can remind everyone they are connected to a bigger story. Tell the kids stories about themselves they’ve forgotten. Let them tell you stories of things they remember but you’ve forgotten. There is unusual power in a child hearing the stories that connect them to a bigger family.
- Traditions are a strategic opportunity to communicate the value of family.(http://theparentcue.org/family-traditions-2/)
What are your favorite Christmas traditions? Have a Merry Christmas!