This Christmas....and every one after that is going to be quite different for my husband and and I. For now, until the rest of our lives I'm sure, Christmas is no longer about us. (Well it was never really about us, but you know what I mean). Now that we have added a baby to the family, making us a family of 3, things are definitely going to be different!
"I get to create my own family traditions!"
Honestly, having my own little family for Christmas is something that I have looked forward to for a long time. That may sound random, or odd, but having my own family means I get to create my own family traditions!
Growing up, waking up at our home on Christmas morning sas such a special thing. Actually, going to be on Christmas Eve was special as well. It was always a struggle to go to bed on the Eve of Christmas. I was so anxious as a child lying in bed, knowing that SANTA would be coming to my house soon. It seemed like it took forever to finally fall asleep. I remember one Christmas Eve before we were tucked into bed, that my brother and I looked up at the sky and saw red lights flickering. He told me it was Santa's sleigh, and had this entire story on how he knew it was the sleigh, rather than an airplane. We even heard sleigh bells. Even now, I am not sure where the bells came from, but I remember hearing them! Then off to bed we would go, just to wake up before it was even light out, ecstatic, to open presents on Christmas morning!
Now that I am a mom, my husband and I will have the joy of creating exciting traditions for Zander to look forward to. We will get the privilege of showing him Santa's Sleigh in the sky, and filling his heart with joy and anxious excitement before we tuck him into bed on Christmas Eve.
Being married for five years now, Christmas Family Traditions is something that we have discussed frequently when the holidays come around.
One of the major things we discussed was how we were going to be able to really teach our children the true meaning of Christmas. You know, with all that the world makes Christmas out to be, it's hard to decide how you will "do Christmas" in your own family. How can you change the perception given to children about Christmas. How can you teach them that there is more to the 25th of December than presents and pretty decorations. That there is more to the holiday than writing letters to Santa, making it on the good list, and getting more toys than you have time to play with.
Our deepest desire for our son, for our future family, is to share with them the magic of Christmas, to allow them to have an imagination that believes in Santa, but above all else. We want our children to know the importance of the holiday. That in reality, wishes, and toys have nothing to do with our celebration. Instead, we want them to celebrate, knowing that it's the Birthday of our Savior! That we are celebrating because without Christmas, without Jesus' Birthday, then we would not be able to live a life filled with joy, and hope in Jesus. That we would not be able to live, despite our faults, knowing that there is more to life. That we would not be able to go through life, or make it, without knowing that because of Jesus, we have been forgiven and given the promise of new and greater life.
We want to teach our children, as we celebrate this wonderful time of year, what the real Reason for the Season is!
So although this year won't be a year full of our new Christmas Family Traditions. Next year, when Zander is bigger we really want to start implementing some of those traditions. Here are a couple we have brainstormed:
- 12 Days of Christmas Random Acts of Kindness-we will choose a person, (someone we know or a stranger) that we will give a gift to, or a baked good to, or help out around them house. Some of these may be anonymous, some we may go to them and give them the gift.
- Countdown to Christmas Bible Study-our church has a family countdown to Christmas paper chain that you make and then each day in December you tell a part of the Christmas story as you countdown to the 25th!
- Birthday Celebration for Jesus-I got this idea from my sister. We will make Christmas day a big birthday celebration, including baking a birthday cake for Jesus!
- Reading the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve-
- Christmas Pajamas-we will give our kids a new pair of Christmas pajamas in December as their early Christmas gift. (We did do that this year)
- Various Christmas Celebration Nights-Throughout December, we will watch Christmas movies, make Christmas crafts, bake/make Christmas goodies, attend Christmas parties, go see Christmas lights, go to the Christmas parade, etc.
- Christmas Eve Candlelight Service & Communion at our Church-This is something we have always wanted to do, but we are always traveling for Christmas, so we are never able to attend.
- Pick Out a Child to Sponsor or an Angel from the Angel Tree to Shop For-another way to show our children it's important to give
- Give the Gift of Memories-Instead of giving our children a ton of gifts, (plus what they get from family), we want to plan a yearly vacation and at Christmas, give them a gift that is a clue to where our vacation for that year will be. We feel that instead of spending our money on a bunch of toys, that we will give them the gift of making memories as a family by spending our money on a vacation!
I would love to hear about Family Traditions that you do with your family, and maybe even borrow some of them myself, as we plan our own family traditions for Christmas' in the future!
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