I am a tradition buff. As a child I loved certain family traditions. They were so meaningful and important to me. In my child's mind these things we did together defined how I remembered our family. Studies show that children learn from repetition. That's why traditions are so important to me. I believe our children will remember the things we do over and over again together. I hope that those things are meaningful and fun.
Every year I share our special Christmas traditions with you guys. I actually write them out cause I am such a goober that I will forget to do them. :0) I love getting wonderful new ideas. So I hope you will share one of YOUR favorite Christmas traditions with me in the comments section. One huge thing we do now is celebrating advent. We do not celebrate them as holy days as some people do. However, we think advent is a beautiful tradition and a wonderful way to keep the holiday season focused on the right things. It is very important to us that our children never believe that Christmas is all about getting presents.
String popcorn and cranberries for the tree
The Month Of December
Follow an advent calendar- let kids take turns removing an object each night before bed (maybe make your own calendar)
Make a gingerbread house
The Week before Christmas
Watch a Christmas movie each night while working on homemade gifts for family and friends- each family member gets to choose a couple of the movies
Make Jesus birthday cards to put on top of the mantle
Go to a Christmas Eve service to sing songs together
The length of the Advent season depends on which day of the week Christmas falls on. This schedule includes all possible 28 days of Advent. For shorter seasons adjust this schedule by doubling up on some readings or eliminating the final two readings, which record events after Christ's birth.
First Week Sun.
More than any other activity, Advent can restore Jesus to the center of the Christmas celebration, because on each Advent day the birth of Jesus is read, sung and talked about. The whole family can participate and find the observance meaningful. The props are simple and inexpensive. The memories and training will last a lifetime. Although the common tenets of observing Advent are shared by many churches, each family can add its own flavor. Following is a basic primer on how to start celebrating Advent this year.
Prepare your family: Let your family or household know that this year you are going to start a new tradition to celebrate Jesus' birthday. Whenever you can with children, refer to Christmas as Jesus' birthday. Decide which time of the day will work best for your Advent time.
What you need: • An Advent wreath, which can be purchased at most Christian bookstores, or made of fire-safe materials or a log with holes for candles. Perhaps it could be a family event to choose or make the Advent wreath. • Four candles, three purple and one rose, and an additional white candle for Christmas Eve. A box of four Advent candles can be purchased at many card stores or Christian bookstores. • A Bible for readings and, for younger children, a selection of children's Christmas stories that focus on the birth of Jesus. • Advent readings.
Optional items: • An Advent calendar, available where cards are sold, with 24 windows to open each day in December or a paper chain of 24 red and green links to mark the number of days until Jesus' birthday. Christmas carol books.
Beginning the celebration: On the first day begin with either a prayer or a Christmas carol. Light the first purple candle, known as the prophecy candle. The liturgical color purple is a sign of penance and longing as we wait for the birth of Jesus. With the lighting, talk about Jesus being the light of the world. Read the Advent Scripture of the day. Conclude by singing or praying. Have one child blow out the candle.
The third week light the two purple candles and then a rose candle, or shepherd candle. Rose is a sign of joy and hope that He is coming.