It seems that somewhere along the way, the holiday message has been lost and replaced by materialistic attitudes that are of more concern than the joy surrounding the Christmas holiday.
Christmas has now become a massive marketing event where companies can advertise their products as a must-have Christmas gift. Isn’t it funny how all the newest and biggest stuff comes out at Christmas time so that the masses of children will demand it from their parents? It would be good to see the old traditions return and for Christmas to be celebrated for the right reasons; not as a commercial opportunity.
Christmas Traditions are so important; we have many family traditions. Some of them have fallen aside over the years as the kids have grown up, but I hope they will continue with their own children. We used to always read “The Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve. We always decorated the tree together. We always watch the “Grinch” (I still do every year, even if I’m alone!). We always have grandma’s best-in-the-universe butter tarts, and we still buy the chocolate Advent calendars. I still try to drag my children to the mall to have a picture with Santa… maybe this year I will try to drag them all there together – wouldn’t that be fun?! We always have the stockings stuffed with little funny things, chocolates and just ‘stuff’, and it’s just not Christmas if we don’t have Christmas crackers! And everyone has to wear the funny hats at the dinner table. Having family traditions are so much fun!
Here are some ideas to start your own, and I think I’m going to add these to my family traditions!
- Pajama Time on Christmas Eve. Many families have a fun tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve, and that present is always the same — pajamas. The kids always know what it is, but it’s still fun to see what kind of jammies they’ll don on Christmas morning.
- The day before Christmas, deliver cookies to those who have to work, like firefighters, policemen or nurses at the hospital. It’s a small, simple way to cheer up their day when they would probably rather be with family than at work.
- Choose an ornament for each child, each year until they leave the home. See if you can have the ornament reflect something about the child’s personality, an accomplishment they achieved that year, or something else unique. Then, when they leave your home and start their own, let them take their box of ornaments with them.
- Bake cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve. What a wonderful family tradition! And besides, Santa needs milk and cookies – that’s a known fact.
The most important part of family traditions are to keep them simple, keep them lighthearted, and keep them fun. Their purpose is family unity. Often these are the things children remember most; not the gifts. Children enjoy and value time with their family a lot more than materialistic presents. These can become traditions for all the family, and children will often carry these with them when they in turn have their own families in years to come!