Today I have the privilege of sharing "Keeping Christ in CHRISTmas" at a local MOPS gathering (one of my favorite things to do!). During my message I'll be highlighting the joy of family traditions, especially during the Christmas season.
As mom/author Lisa Whelchel says, "It's amazing how short a distance you have to go to find Jesus in our present-day symbols and traditions. ..."
I wholeheartedly agree! Whether we're cutting down a Christmas tree, baking cookies, or wrapping gifts ~ we can be tying in the True Reason for the Season ~ Jesus.
Here are some of our favorite family Bultema Christmas traditions. Enjoy!
(Please know...there have been many years we've not done all of these. Please don't get any crazy ideas like we have it all together. Trust me... :) )
1. Plan a Pajama Ride! Tuck your children into bed as usual. Get hot chocolate, blankets, and Christmas music ready (and your car/van warmed up). Yell “Pajama Ride” and watch your kids pop out of bed! Go for a ride to see the lights while singing Christmas carols together. Talk about Jesus being the “light of the world”.
2. Open one present each on Christmas Eve. Let it be a new pair of flannel pajamas to be worn on Christmas morning.
3. Give each child a Christmas ornament each year that reflects his/her interests. When that child marries, give him/her the collection as a wedding gift.
(This year I ordered a fisherman, football player, piano player, and bike rider. Can you guess which Bultema kid will receive which ornament?)
4. Watch a Christmas movie (or two) together. (My kids like to check our schedule from abc family - 25 Days of Christmas.) Make popcorn and treats. Put your feet up and enjoy the family time :)
5. Make Christmas Cookies. Don't worry, I still don't bake much! But I do LOVE the frozen, pre-cut/shaped cookies from Gordon Food Service. Just put them on a tray and bake 'em up. That along with a canister of white frosting that I tint is now my staple Christmas cookie recipe.
Awesome! Plus it keeps the kids busy for hours! :)
6. Our Very Own Christmas Tree - John and I have a tradition of purchasing an ornament every year when we go on our "mini-moons". Last year John put up a small Christmas tree in our bedroom with all the ornaments. I love it :)
7. Deliver Christmas Cards & Cookies to the Neighbors - The kids always have fun going up and down the street delivering our "homemade" goodies and warm Christmas greeting. :)
8. Holiday Family Photo - Take a family photo in the same spot each year. (Not that we're into Santa, but we take one with the big jolly guy every year). Here are some from the early years..
I have a book where I put our new Santa picture every year. In years to come, we’ll have a wonderful record of the growth of our family!
9. Christmas Book Basket - We've accumulated quite the stash of Christmas books. My little Sarah treasures them! She LOVES when we get the Christmas books out (and cries when we put them away).
Another idea I heard... individually wrap 25 Christmas books and place them in a basket near your tree. Beginning on December 1, a child picks a “present” from the basket, unwraps it, and then you can read it together. Siblings take turns choosing the “present.” You can even read the book at night by flashlight as you lie next to the Christmas tree. If you only have 7 books, then begin 7 days before Christmas.
10. Happy Birthday Jesus Party
On Christmas morning, we always have a birthday party for Jesus. We play games. Eat cake (some years we've made the "Jesus birthday cake", although last year I ordered this fun cake.)
We all bring a "gift" to present to baby Jesus, sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, and read the story of Jesus in Luke 2: 1-16.
There you have it ~ 10 of our favorite Christmas family memorie-makers. How about for you? What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! God's richest blessings to you!
P.S. If you're looking for more ideas, I'd highly recommend Truth in the Tinsel: An Advent Experience for Little Hands Amanda White - another former Children's Director :) and blogger from Oh Amanda and Impress Your Kids - has written an amazing e-book that will make your Christmas experience memorable and fun!
Truth in the Tinsel is filled with Scripture, discussion questions, craft and activity ideas, and so much more! You can purchase Truth in the Tinsel for only $4.99! What a bargain!
P.S.S.For more great Top 10 lists, hop over to oh Amanda!