December 11, 2010

Christmas Traditions

Anyone who knows me well can tell you that I LOVE the season of Christmas!  I start listening to Christmas music in late hubby has learned to accept this!  I love all the days leading up to Christmas day filled with baking, advent activities, crafts, decorating, parties, and carols.  But most of all, I want my children to know the TRUE meaning for why we celebrate this day....that HE is the reason!  I want them to experience that giving is better than receiving....that it's not all about them and what they want out of the toy catalog.  I've been able to take them to the store to pick out gifts for other children who don't have much and they were just as excited to choose something for another child.  One thing another friend of mine did was kept her nativity scene in a place where the kids could reach it and play with it.  My nativity scene wasn't breakable so I moved it off of a table and put it at their level.  We also have a veggie tale nativity scene that they love to play with.  Both of these give them something tangible to relate to when they hear the Christmas story.  I also keep a bin filled with different Christmas books in the living room that they enjoy reading all month.

Not only do I love Christmas, I also love traditions (whether it be Christmas or otherwise!)  We had a book recommended to us in Sunday school as we were studying traditions by Noel Piper (wife of John Piper).  It is called Treasuring God in Our Traditions.  In this book she explains the importance of having traditions in our family and gives examples of some things that they do.  So far I've only read the chapter she wrote on Christmas traditions, but I can't wait to dive into the rest of it!  You can purchase the book or download it for free on her website HERE.
I would love to hear some of your family's traditions!  Some of ours include an advent calendar, singing "O Christmas Tree" together after we put the lights on the tree, making Jesus a birthday cake on Christmas day, baking appetizers and treats all day on Christmas Eve to enjoy that evening, reading the Christmas story before we open any presents, participating in some sort of organization that gives to needy children/families, watching multiple Christmas shows and going to look at Christmas lights in our town.
Please share with us traditions you've started with your family!  You just might inspire another family to do the same!