This week at Real Life, I’m hosting a week of Christmas Traditions, shared by guest bloggers! I am so excited to hear about other families’ traditions, and take a peek inside their holiday! Today, we have Amanda, from High Impact Mom (@highimpactmom in Twitter)!
For me the thought Christmas brings to life images of joy, childhood happiness, and Santa. I think back to my childhood, to a time when I knew without a doubt Santa was real and for just one day all would be right in my world. One thing I don’t remember is an emphasis being put on the birth of Jesus or the celebration of the Greatest Love, so when my husband and I had children we made the decision very early on that we would make Jesus a priority in our home at Christmas time. The only question was how would we do it?
I know many Christians who forgo the whole Santa thing and focus solely on Jesus, leaving out presents, the tree, and anything remotely Christmas-y. But as I said earlier, Christmas holds just great memories for me and I look forward to sharing those memories and making new ones with our girls. So while I will not be excluding Santa Claus from our traditions, my husband and I do make a concentrated effort to teach our children the real reason for the season.
It is for that very reason, we read the Christmas Birth Story to our children each year on Christmas Eve along with the classic The Night Before Christmas. We spend time in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas talking with our girls about the real reason we celebrate Christmas, Jesus’ birth. We set up the nativity scene together as a family, discussing each “character” and his/her significance to that Holy Night.
Another way we teach our girls about the true meaning of Christmas is in our participation in Operation Christmas Child (in collaboration with our church) and our local Angel Tree. Each year we adopt a local family and take the girls shopping to purchase items to bless the family with, while we’re shopping we remind them that the Bible tells us to take care of those less fortunate than ourselves, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me…’ Matthew 25:40b .
One of our favorite ways to celebrate Jesus’ birth during the Christmas season is by throwing him a party. A full on birthday party, complete with balloons and cake. We sing Happy Birthday and make cards, we re-read the Birth Story and thank God for His Son. We take time to thank God for the blessings He has bestowed on our family in the past year and to ask for His guidance for the coming year. Our children look forward to this time as much as they look forward to Santa, if not more. Each year I purchase a “Jesus Ornament”, an ornament that symbolizes Christ’s place in our lives. In past years it has varied from a baby Jesus, to a cross with a favorite Bible verse, but each year it is given the place of honor at the top of the tree and is cherished for years to come.
It is important to our family that we take the time each Christmas to remember our Savior’s birth and His saving Grace. These are the happy memories I hope my girls take with them through the years and pass down to their own children.
Do you do something special each year to make Christmas memories in your home? I’d love to hear all about them!
Other Christmas Tradition Guest Posts:
- Christmas Traditions: “High Impact Mom” Amanda
- Christmas Traditions: Honoring Others with the Underwood Family
- Christmas Traditions: You Have to Start Somewhere!
- Traditions: Anticipating and Remembering