I love Christmas and want the kids to grow up loving it too. As I think back on growing up in my family, Mum and Dad really tried to make traditions that enabled us to recognise it as a special time of year to be together and to celebrate Jesus- the ultimate gift. This is something that I have wanted to pass on to our children too. Below are a few of the traditions we are continuing or starting in our family!
This year, we are continuing our Christmas tradition of the Jesse Tree – Cobb style. If you missed my post from last year as I started our advent countdown check it out here. To give you a brief rundown, each evening we gather around the Christmas tree and one child pulls out an advent drawer that contains a verse and a lolly. The verses are available on the printout here. Then we put a decoration on our tree that goes with the story. For example, tonight we had the story of Abraham and the promise that God would make him a father of many nations, so we put on a Christmas bauble that had glitter stars inside. I am still building my Christmas decorations that have to do with Biblical symbols (if you see any fantastic ones around let me know!) What I love about this tradition is that our tree becomes a symbol of hope- including symbols that represent the Biblical narrative. At Easter we also do the Jesse Tree using Ann Voskamp’s free printables.
I love cooking and so I try to find recipes that I can make easily with pre-schoolers. Each year we often create some edible gifts for friends as a way of enjoying cooking together (but not eating it all ourselves!) Some of the recipes we have had fun with in the past are:
Christmas Card Making
Each year I also sit down with my kiddies to make our Christmas cards. My plan is to make some cards this week. I love looking on Pinterest and getting some inspiration, and then I choose one design that we mass produce. I have found that it makes it achievable (minimises exasperated mummy moments!) and also lots more efficient, when each child gets one job (e.g. gluing the back of the paper, sticking on a diamante etc)
Christmas Eve Boxes
This is a new tradition I am excited about implementing. I saw this great post on Facebook actually of a Christmas Eve box, where each child gets a box on Christmas Eve with a new set of pyjamas, some popcorn and hot chocolate, a few lollies and a Christmas movie. As we have Netflix, I am thinking I will print off a movie ticket to substitute for the DVD and then we will sit down and watch the Christmas movie together as a family.
This was a tradition I remember from growing up that Dave and I have started with our kids. I remember the first year my Dad did this, I must have been 4 or 5 and we were living in my grandparent’s home while my parents built our mud brick home down the hill. It was such a memorable tradition- I can even remember where my pillow case filled with goodies was hidden! Fast-forward over 20 years and Dave is now continuing the tradition. He hides the Christmas stockings on Christmas Eve and then writes a set of clues for the kids. When they wake up on Christmas morning, before breakfast they follow their clues to find their Christmas stocking.
Finally, we love music in our family. We love listening to it, watching it and making it. Come the 1st December, the carols come out and we start singing! My little guy’s favourite CD is Colin Buchanan’s Jingle Jingle Jesus– he asks for it for months after Christmas is over, so being able to play it again over the last few days was very exciting for him. My favourite Christmas CD is Casting Crown’s “Peace on Earth” Album.
Are there any Christmas traditions in your family? I would love to hear from you! Either comment below or head over to our Facebook page and share them with us!