What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? I’ve been thinking more and more about traditions for Christmas rather than allowing my time and money to only go toward getting more stuff this holiday season.
Last week, I blogged about some of the fun projects I am doing with my kids during our pre-Christmas material fast. We’ve been doing fairly well. Our children aren’t asking for a new toy every time we go into a store. That’s a blessing.
My time has instead been spent teaching them one-on-one about what Christmas means to us as Christians. The time we spend together, especially at the holidays, is a gift, which led to my blog last week about “presence over presents”.
One of my favorite traditions growing up was when my mom, brothers and I would string popcorn. It was a tedious task, but so much fun, probably because there was a lot of laughter. As parents, we should create time when we spend time with our kids, doing fun activities. It would be a shame that the only laughter in our homes were from when our kids are watching television.
As children, we also always would set up the manger. This was an especially important holiday tradition. My mom allowed me to be in charge of setting up the manger. Though it would take me a long time to put all of the pieces just where I wanted them, this allowed me to understand at a young age what Christmas is truly about.
This week, my children and I made our own manger. We made a stable out of branches we collected in the yard and used hot glue to put it together. We used hay for the roof. For the people, we used construction paper. My children had so much fun doing this.
We also made Christmas stars while I explained that the wise men followed the bright star to find baby Jesus. On the stars, my children drew pictures of things that they themselves reach for in life, such as peace, happiness and hope. I told them that these are things that we follow Jesus to find. We strung the stars with yarn and hung them in our living room. This project was so much fun, educational and simple. I know it will become a part of our Christmas traditions.
We have more projects planned for this coming week. I have been having so much fun with my children, listening to their thoughts on Christmas, our savior’s birthday.
Another fun project we have done and will do this year is to have a birthday party for Jesus. The Christmas holiday is about giving and about Jesus, our ultimate gift as Christians. God blessed us with the time His son, who was sent to Earth to save us. I want to be sure I spend my own time highlighting that with my children this holiday.
The amazing thing is that since we began our material fast the fighting and arguing around my house has lessened. My kids have focused more on giving and helping each other rather than getting.
I would love to hear about your family traditions for the holiday season. What do you do?