“We have three children: Kristen, Erica and Matthew, all adults now. When they were young we used to pick names out of a hat with all our names in it a few days before Christmas dinner. We would then pick out a bible verse that we thought was appropriate for that person. We wrote them out and put them under their placemat at the table, and they couldn’t read it until they sat down to dinner. Our kids seemed to really enjoy selecting the verse, and of course we were all interested what verse the other family member selected for us. Pretty sure this was my wife’s idea as a way to help encourage one another and lean meaningful bible lessons while enjoying the many blessings of Christmas.”
“One of our favorite Christmas traditions with the boys is telling the Christmas story to them each night in December. Noel Piper wrote a fantastic story that builds upon itself each night, and it makes my heart so happy to hear them telling the story because they’ve heard it so many times over the month!”
“As a preteen, I would help my mother in the kitchen during the day on Christmas Eve by prepping various dishes, including chopping onions, celery, and green peppers for her legendary dressing (stuffing). I loved the smell of these vegetables, however the challenge for me would be to use enough fresh lemon to scrub my hands so I would not smell like an onion medley when singing in the youth choir later that evening at Midnight Mass!”
“One tradition we have is to read through our Christmas Advent calendar and devotional book and sing christmas carols together. We try and do it at least a few nights a week at dinner. Also we started going caroling to our neighbors and friends houses a few years ago when the kids got bigger. The kids really love it!!”
“I grew up going to Catholic Mass every Christmas morning and Jonathan and I have continued this tradition with my family, either going Christmas Eve or morning to worship. I didn’t realize until recently that not everyone goes to church on Christmas day! I’m excited that this year Christmas is on a Sunday and that we’ll get to worship together at St. Paul’s.”
“If you are like my family, you grew up having special family traditions. Some of the traditions in my family growing up included making gingerbread houses (and no kits here! My mom made all the pieces of the house!!), attending our church’s candlelight Christmas Eve service and reading the Christmas story before bed on Christmas Eve. It was what the Bell family did every year!
When we got married and Pat and I began a family of our own, I was intent on starting family traditions. Due to the importance in my home growing up, I wanted my children to have those special things as well for my family during the Christmas season. One of those traditions, which started early, was a family outing with our good friends and neighbors, the Gordons, for to visit Santa and have dinner together. We had kids the same age and this was something we valued each year. It was so much fun. In the last two years, I’m sad to say that this tradition has not happened. As kids grow up and life gets busier this time of year with school work, school concerts and just life, this event has just been hard to make happen. I have lamented this until Pat reminded me that this was a wonderful tradition for many years but traditions can change. Now we look for ways to come together with the Gordons in a less busy time of year!
But some traditions will never change in our household. I want to make it ever present in the minds and hearts of my kids why we are celebrating Christmas. We are celebrating and waiting on the coming Savior! Having Advent readings and devotions leading up to Christmas have been a treasure for our family and something my children have come to expect each year. These few minutes we come together to read, reflect and pray can often be chaotic with kids fighting or running around; however, we push through and trust that seeds are being planted and one day they will take this family tradition into their own families.”