Christmas is just around the corner! Today, we are talking all about Christmas traditions, old and new. Those may be family traditions, personal traditions, long-standing traditions or brand new ones that are just being started!
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Growing up, it seems like my family was big on traditions. We always had things each year that we never failed to do. They were just our family traditions that we never wanted to miss! After getting married, my family adopted even more traditions that we wanted to carry on with our girls.
- Making a cake for Jesus’ birthday: Even from a young age, we wanted our girls to know the real meaning of Christmas and not think it is purely about getting presents. Every year, we make a cake to celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day. We enjoy some ourselves, but my mother-in-law also had a new twist to the tradition that we leave a small piece outside for the birds so that they could take it up to heaven. Jesus needs cake too! 🙂 My oldest absolutely loves this tradition and it really helps her to learn and understand the true reason why we celebrate Christmas.
- Attend Christmas Eve service: I have always loved going to service on the night of Christmas Eve. The candlelight service and the message given is always so beautiful and it is one of my favorite passages out of the Bible. Plus, I get to put my girls in fancy, matching Christmas dresses:)
- Baking Christmas cookie platters to hand out to all the neighbors: I did this with my mom and siblings every year growing up, I did it last year on my own and I’ve done it a few years with my in-laws. It is so much fun to make a bunch of different cookies and treats, and then pass them out on cute holiday platters to the neighbors. This is also the perfect way to show Christmas kindness.
- Opening a present on Christmas Eve: This is something that a lot of people do every year. Usually it involves some sort of pajamas or comfy clothes. My mom used to let us pick whatever one we wanted, but we had to edit that tradition since some of us got really great gifts that night and then others got socks… No on wants sibling battles like that the night before Christmas! This year, I am starting something a little bit different with my girls and nieces. I am making them Christmas Eve boxes, filled with pajamas, a Christmas book or movie and a snack of some kind. This will be what they get to open on Christmas Eve night.
- Watching our favorite Christmas movies and played board games: Without fail, we always watched Charlie Brown’s Christmas, The Santa Claus movie series and the original Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph. Plus, we would always get a “family gift” of a new board game that we would spend hours playing on Christmas Day. (More Christmas movie favorites here)
- The Scandalous Stocking: I would recommend that you only do this for your significant other… since that’s what it is meant for:) I make it a point every year to put something a little… personal… in the bottom of my husband’s stocking. I am a pretty modest person. Actually, EXTREMELY modest. But even though it’s half embarrassing for him to pull it out in front of his family, it is also so much fun to see his reaction to whatever I picked for that year. Sometimes it’s funny and other times I try to make it something “useful”. 🙂
- A different take on “Elf on the Shelf”- Traveling Wisemen: My sister-in-law introduced me to “the traveling wise men” last year, as a substitution for the well-known “Elf on the Shelf”. Here is a little more from her, “For years it has been our family’s Christmas tradition to put together our nativity scene all decked out with Joseph, Mary, Baby Jesus, an angel and of course, 3 wise men.”“The interesting thing is that there were no wise men present at all when the baby, Jesus, was in the stable. The story of how and when the wise men came to find Mary and the Christ-child is found in Matthew 2:1-12. They found Mary and him (up to two years after his birth) in a house. So, we started putting up our nativity together without our wise men inside and instead had them “journey” to Jesus. It has been a fun tradition and our girls have been a part of “traveling” the wise men. This year, my husband and I thought it would be fun for the wise men to journey through the night and when our girls wake up, they could go find where they journeyed to during the night. It has proved to be much fun for us as we move the wise men to different locations in the house (even on the chandelier) as well as for our girls locating the wise men and it helps us remember the true story of Christ’s birth.” I absolutely love it!
*Cheers to holiday traditions, both old and new*