It is no secret that I love Christmas. Some of my strongest memories as a little girl are around the Christmas tree with my family, spending time together, creating memories. Even now, my whole family loves Christmas. I think it is less about the decorations, presents, and food (though they are fun too), and more about spending time together. There were certain things that we did every year, and we loved them!
Country Boy’s family has different traditions than mine. They are less enthusiastic about Christmas (to say the least). Over the weekend we were talking about Christmas plans, and I got thinking about the traditions that I have created for our little family. I started to wonder whether they were useful or whether they just silly things that serve no purpose.
I am keen for my kids to have special memories of their Christmases, but at the same time I am keen to keep it in perspective. We are Christians, so we celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus. I love to decorate the house, and plan special treats and activities, but I don’t want us to become so wrapped up in it that we forget why we celebrate Christmas. Keeping this central to our celebrations also helps us to pass on our values and beliefs to our kids. We want our kids to follow Jesus, and to celebrate his coming at Christmas.
In our house, we don’t “do” Santa, but we have lots of other traditions. We set up the tree and nativity scene We go for a drive to see the Christmas light (we will need to go a bit further this year) and go to the carols by candlelight service. We plan some baking and craft activities too.
To me creating traditions is important (not just for Christmas either!). It gives us a sense of identity as a family, and helps us to teach our kids our values. It also connects our kids with their wider family. I know that kids who feel connected to their family and community are less likely to suffer from a whole range of issues particularly through their teen years. Our society has so few traditions and special days, that those we do have are even more important. So even though some people might think that our annual Christmas traditions are silly, they are all part of what makes our family special!
P.S. We are going to set up the tree this weekend – not sure who is more excited; me or the kids!
I would love to know what traditions other families have. Is having traditions important to you?
Linking up with Jess for IBOT