Starting A Family Tradition *help wanted*

21 Dec

Christmas is in 5 days. I can’t believe it! Feels like I’ve been waiting all year for this one day. Keely is at such a fun age for Christmas. I can remember when I was a little girl… the fantasy of Santa & how my imagination would run wild! Such a magical time. My grandpa used to dress up like Santa on Christmas Eve when the whole family got together & literally get on the roof, but only give us a little peek of his suite & a “ho,ho,ho”. I couldn’t wait to rush home & get in bed, knowing that he was making his rounds. I understand that a lot of Christian’s don’t believe in telling their children about Santa Claus (& I have the utmost respect for what God has impressed on each persons heart), but it just wasn’t for me. Maybe the Lord will change my mind about it in the future, but for now, I just can’t find it in my heart to take that fantasy away from a little girl full of innocence, wonder, & excitement. Although, I would never keep the charade going. As soon as she understands enough to ask, “is he real?”… my answer is “no”, followed by an explanation of where the tradition & the real St. Nick derived from. I’ve been so proud of her though… apparently we’ve done our part (along with Living Word) to make her understand what Christmas is & what we are celebrating. She hasn’t once said, “5 days ’til Santa comes!”… each time we move our little candy cane on the advent calendar, she says, “5 more days ’til Jesus’ birthday!” It seems that her excitement for Jesus’ birth is just as evident as the illusion of Santa. Pretty impressive for a 3 year old.

That being said… one thing that has been on my mind through the season, is a strong urge to start a tradition in our immediate family, to take time during the hustle & bustle to completely stop & remember that no matter what we get or don’t get, at Christmas & every other day, the greatest gift has already been given. So, I’ve been racking my brain to come up with something clever & interesting that we can do every year to put the focus on Jesus. Christmas is such a fun time & I absolutely love the excitement & joy, but I don’t ever want my family to get so caught up that we spend the entire day focused on the events & barely a moment focused on the Person.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Anything inspiring that your family does to remember Jesus’ significance in our lives? *remember: it has to be something that won’t completely bore the kids, but can grow as the family grows.*

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7 Responses to “Starting A Family Tradition *help wanted*”

  1. iheartkiserboston December 22, 2008 at 7:00 pm #

    YOu should read the Christmas story. The one In Luke. Once she is old enough…have her read it. It is such a precious story and easy for anyone to understand. And the older they get, the more you can really explain it’s importance! We have been talking a lot about really experiencing Christmas in church. NOt just doing or getting through it, but how to really capture it. Explain the manger scene, use a flashlight through the house to represent the star and follow the star to the manger…with you being the wisemen. Have them take something to Jesus…a gift…amazing what kids will come up with.

  2. vanessathompson December 22, 2008 at 8:07 pm #

    that is a great idea! I love the flashlight bit & bringing a gift for Jesus. Love it. love it. love it. Thanks for the input buddy!

  3. kellycrew December 24, 2008 at 4:14 am #

    I have thought about this also…not for Christmas specifically, but leaving a legacy in general. I think you know, my dad past away in November and it caused a lot of reflection…about our family, my relationship with him, and how I am as a dad. What I realized (I have before, but this went deep) is that the vacations, gifts, and discipline didn’t matter. Listening to the family, friends, congregation, and different members of the community speak of who he was to them and the central theme (his legacy) is what helped me receive comfort. It was his legacy that has since encouraged me to live better.

    I really wish I had an idea for you and sorry to ramble, but I liked iheartkiserboston’s suggestion.

  4. jasmin kelly December 24, 2008 at 6:49 am #

    I know of a family who bakes a cake for Jesus together and sings Happy Birthday Jesus on Christmas day. I think that soo cool.

  5. Jennifer Tobler December 30, 2008 at 1:55 pm #

    One thing I am going to start next year is something I thought about at the Christmas Eve Candelight Service. On my mantle I’m going to put one big candle and then one smaller candle for every member of the family. On Christmas Eve we will light the big candle and read the Christmas story (candle = Jesus), then each family member can light their own candle off the big one, representing that we have His light in us and can/should shine!
    I really love the flashlight and gift idea the first lady suggested … I may need to incorporate that too!!

  6. Shannon January 6, 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    I haven’t blog stalked in a while!
    This is a little late, but what about doing a Jesse Tree? I had never heard of it before, but love the idea and plan for our family to do it next year.
    http://simplemom.net/jesse-tree/

  7. vanessathompson January 6, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    Shannon… thank you! I read it & that is a great idea!! I should start reading this blog. One of the girls on my blog roll has this blog on her blogroll & often uses it as a link in her own blog.

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