Do you have any favorite Christmas family traditions? Until last year, I would have to say that I didn’t have many favorite Christmas family traditions.
I want to begin this post by saying that long to-do lists overwhelm me. In fact, to-do lists and comparison are the kinds of things that have sometimes made me dislike Christmas.
It’s easy for me to let guilt over-take my soul for all the things that I should be and could be doing. You’all, Social Media is a killer for me. But I’m learning that I’m not someone else. I’m me. Some of you LOVE decorating and doing all the things. I like the idea of it, but not the stress. So, for years I didn’t do anything in the way of Christmas Traditions.
Did that help the guilt? Nope, I still carried it around. These days I’m learning to let go of the guilt. I’m learning to accept who God created me to be. I am enough. You are enough. You were created for a purpose.
Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT) “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
So I like simple. I like just spending time with family and friends. My table probably won’t include the perfectly themed Christmas dishes. The decorations around my house won’t be perfect. I won’t be counting down to Christmas all month long. I let the kids decorate the tree, just because they love it AND it gives me one less thing to do.
I’m sure that most of you have some pretty awesome Christmas Traditions. Many of them probably rival mine for creativity and elaborateness, but regardless I thought I’d share some of our favorite family Christmas Traditions.
5 of Our Favorite Family Christmas Traditions
#1: We give money to Charity.
We do this in various ways. Sometimes, we have packed shoe boxes for Samaritan’s Purse. At other times, we’ve set a dollar amount and picked something from a gift catalog. My favorite way was to invite all of our children to donate some of their money to a gift from the Samaritan’s Purse gift catalog. I have been so proud of the children! They have been very generous with their money, giving quite sacrificially to this cause.
I actually grew up doing something similar as a child with my own family. We weren’t overly wealthy, but each Christmas we took the time to think of others and give some of our hard-earned money to an Orphanage. It’s something that I remember quite fondly.
#2: Inviting my in-laws over for a meal.
In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the Christmas Season, we have been taking the time to have just Oma and Opa over for a meal. This is usually the big meal that I will make to enjoy together. We aren’t very traditional with it because we choose something different each year. One year we had Pasta with a Cream Sauce, Breaded Chicken, and Bread Sticks. Another year we might have Ham, Mashed Potatoes and gravy, with stuffing. The whole idea is to be together.
#3: Baking Cookies with my Children to give away.
This is probably one of our longest standing traditions. We have been doing it since my oldest was in Kindergarten. It’s fun to spend several mornings baking cookies, which we will later pass out to friends and neighbors, as well as to bring to Christmas Functions.
The key here is that we don’t spend all day long baking. We spend about 2-2.5 hours at a time over 2 or 3 sessions, that way it’s still fun and nobody gets worn out.
#4: Watching 2 or 3 Christmas Movies
We like to find a few different Christmas Movies to watch each year. At times, we will take a day off of our school work to watch one. At other times we’ll watch them on the weekend along with Daddy.
#5: Making a Gingerbread House
Remember I like simple? Well, this is a new tradition, but we buy a kit that includes all the needed supplies. Our houses don’t look perfect. No, in fact, Mama doesn’t really know what she’s doing, but I choose to give us all some grace and it ends up being a lot of fun!
Well, there you have it, Those are 5 of our favorite Christmas family traditions. Do you have Christmas Traditions? I’d love if you took a moment to share them in the comments.
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*All photos are my own*