December is approaching and the calendar is already filling up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find time to make Christmas special with your family with holiday traditions. I teach about family traditions with my littles at school and my Sweet V already knows the traditions we do in our family and looks forward to them. Family tradition is important for creating closeness, security, and identity. Sometimes traditions have to flow and change with age and location of family. But it is important to always have something that binds family together through the year.
If you are looking for a simple activity to create tradition, here are 5 holiday traditions you can start this year to keep the spirit of Christmas in your family and home.
Grade the Light Displays
It seems so simple, but it is one of my favorite things to do. Each Christmas season, we bundle up and walk our neighborhood grading the lights. There is an A-F grading scale. Houses can only get in the A range if the lights reach the rooftops. If you have at least a wreath on your door, you can earn a D. We flex the rules, laugh, and jokingly argue about everything in between. Sadly my own home only gets a D every year, but it’s a good time and end the evening with hot cocoa back at home. It is FREE. It is FUN. It’s tradition and you can keep it fresh by walking your own hood or drive, park, and walk in another. Try it this year and tell me you didn’t have fun.
Shop for a Charity as a Family
I cannot tell you how much fun this is and how much joy it can bring. No matter your budget, you can find a way to squeeze in a little something for others if it is important. Once you know what you can afford, find a way to make the shopping fun as a family. Check your school newsletter, church, and local community groups. The Salvation Army has Angel Trees in many malls and stores. Make the day fun. Throw on a crockpot of chili or soup. Dress up. Shop. Wrap if needed when you get home. Toss some ready to bake Christmas cookies on a cookie sheet and get cozy as a family while they bake. Eat your chili, eat your cookies and chill out together watching Elf. The day will feel special and your soul and belly will be full!
I’ll be honest, one year I purchased this beautiful devotional and invited 24 other woman to do it with me. We each made an ornament for one of the scriptures and brought them to exchange at a fun girls’ night. It was lovely and magical and then reality hit.
Our family hung the ornaments, but the devotional piece was a struggle. So depending on if you have kiddos, the age of your kiddos, and your commitment to sitting as a family around the tree each night this advent season, you may want to just choose a devotional to do on Christmas Eve together or a few days before. Some people read the Night Before Christmas each year, but I would much rather read the night of the first Christmas and talk with my girlie about the true gift that always gives. The love of Jesus. Here’s one you could do each night in December or pick a few leading up to Christmas. https://womenlivingwell.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Reasons-for-the-Season.pdf
Christmas Church Service
If you don’t belong to a church, just search for a church near your home to find a service. Almost every church has some version of a Christmas Eve (or few days before) service and they are beautiful and touching in so many ways. My church, Venture in Hartland , Michigan, puts on a spectacular program with 5 experiences. Kensington Church has campuses all over the Metro Detroit area and Traverse City! They have close to 50 different dates and times across the various locations and the tickets are free. And I know someone on Facebook has a recommendation of where to attend Christmas Eve service this year. You won’t be sorry that you went.
Christmas Movie Night
Nothing could be easier than this tradition! Put on some jammies. Pop some popcorn. Heat up some cocoa. Plop in front of the screen. So easy peasy! The hardest part will be picking a movie, but it doesn’t matter because Christmas movies are all fun to watch. I have to watch White Christmas and Elf. It is my personal tradition. Maybe your family has a favorite. Now just make it a tad more formal by announcing movie night and add the snacks. Boom. Tradition has been made!
Before 24/7 screen time and Pinterest, there was a simple magic in family and generosity during this time of year. Let’s slow down, bring that simple magic back to our homes, and watch the true meaning of Christmas come alive in our hearts. The gift of love wrapped in a manger.
Holidays are good. Making memories over consumption is great!
Keep making your house a love filled home.
High five for home.