Making memories with family and sharing traditions is one of my favorite parts of the holidays! There are some traditions we celebrate that have been passed down through the years, and other traditions that we have added to our family over the years. Some traditions have been modified or stopped altogether as our boys have grown, but there are many special times that we look forward to each year.
For example, when the boys were little we used always get a fresh cut real tree, and hunting for just the right tree was part of the fun and a family tradition we looked forward to every year. One year we added an artificial tree, and the rest was history. We found that we could put up an artificial tree or trees, I think we are up to 9 or 10 now, much earlier and enjoy them longer without the hassle of having to water them, continually sweep up pine needles and battle allergy flare-ups.
Christmas Eve has always been an important day for our family! When I was a girl growing up I have fond memories of going to Christmas Eve service and the anticipation of Christmas morning. When Peter and I married, Peter’s mom began the tradition of celebrating with them by sharing special snacks, frozen drinks, games and lively conversations on Christmas Eve and we celebrated this tradition for many years.
As our circumstances changed Christmas Eve changed to fit the needs of our family. One year when Peter’s dad was really sick and in the hospital, we ate hamburgers at the restaurant of the hotel that was attached to the hospital. That was a very different Christmas Eve, yet we were all together. Another year my mom was hospitalized and on life support. Christmas Eve changed again that year too and has never quite been the same since Peter’s mom passed away a couple of weeks before Christmas another year. Since then we have started new Christmas Eve traditions with our boys that we look forward to every year.
Here are some of the holiday time traditions that we have enjoyed over the years.
- Attending Candlelight Service
- Celebrating Advent
- Baking Cookies
- Making Gingerbread Houses
- Retelling the Christmas Story by making parts of the nativity out of playdough
- Visiting Christmas Tree farms and cutting down our own trees
- Shopping for Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving night
- Table time telling stories with the family
- Reading aloud the story of the birth of Jesus
- Reading aloud the Christmas Carol or other beloved stories
- Watching Family Favorite Christmas Movies
- Christmas Musicals
- Christmas Parties
- Driving around looking at Christmas Lights
Celebrating family traditions helps bind the family ties together. Christmas traditions may adapt and change over time from year to year based on your family circumstances and that is okay. They should be a source of enjoyment and something you look forward to, not drudgery. So if something doesn’t work for your family drop or change it.
If watching movies is a holiday favorite for you to then I have a special treat for you! I recently learned about Pure Flix and some great things they have going on for free in hopes of helping families start new traditions. Pure Flix has free holiday movies the whole family can enjoy this season! They have made it super easy to watch them too! No need to enter your credit card information, all you need is your name and email. As a bonus, they also offer educational movie options for kids during their Christmas vacation, Pure Flix also has homeschool resources available.
Whatever you do this Christmas Season, my prayer is that you enjoy making your own special family traditions and that the gift of Jesus Christ who came to save the world rules in your heart and minds.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. – John 3:16-17 ESV
I would love to hear from you about the traditions you and your family enjoy! Leave a comment sharing your favorite family traditions or new ones you would like to start this year. Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New year too!