Creating Christmas Traditions

"Please help me think of a cool idea to do with my kids on Christmas Day and Eve to show the true meaning of Christmas instead of the open presents ordeal!"

This request from a friend of mine got me thinking...how am I doing this with my own children? For me Christmas is far and away my favorite holiday. I'm sure that is partly due to the gifts I grew up receiving, but I think there is something more. Christmas can be a magical time of year. More than just the couple of days on the 24th and 25th, Christmas is an attitude, an event, and a way of living.

I want my approach to Christmas to be more about Christ and less about accumulation of stuff. But how? What does that mean for me? Am I forgoing gifts wrapped up in a bow for my loved ones? No, but I am attempting to put love into those gifts, not money. Or not just money!

As my wife and I prepare for this Christmas season there are a few things that we are doing differently this year. We are focusing on creating traditions for our young family. Some of the tangibles...

  • Daily readings of Jotham's Journey through the month leading to Dec 25th
  • Family focused time each weekend throughout this month (like decorating today)
  • Focusing on how we will give rather than creating our receive lists
Tonight I ran across this post sharing an old radio broadcast, Cinnamon Bear, for each day of the month before Christmas. I can't vouch for the message, yet, but I am looking forward to creating traditions such as this in my own family.

(Update, 12/1/2008: We listened to the first 2 episodes of Cinnamon Bear tonight with the boys. They were enthralled with the story. It was a quiet moment for the four of us laying at the base of the Christmas tree with the fireplace on and the lights low, listening to the tale from a bygone era. We're looking forward to the rest of the story together!)

I don't have it all figured out, but I'm quite sure that Christ's birth was never intended to be a time full of stress and presents ordeal! I greatly desire that my family will know the Reason for this wonderful season, that we will learn the great blessing of giving, and that we will live in the joy of each moment we have together. I wish the same for you and yours this Christmas! God bless you in your journey.

Please share in the comments any of your Christmas traditions.