Traditions are those things that we do purposely at regular intervals and create positive feelings. They help us connect with those who participate in them with us and, in the case of handed-down traditions, help us to connect with previous generations. Traditions can be started at any time and ended at any time and they can be altered to meet your needs. Growing up, we always went to choose our Christmas tree as a family, including my grandparents. The time came that my grandparents stopped coming with us and we stopped going to the local tree seller and started going to farms to cut our own, but we still made a day of it as a family. Two years ago, my husband got a great deal on an artificial tree, and while I am not thrilled with it for many reasons, it is silly to go buy a real tree now. We have now set that tradition aside and will replace it with a new one. Today, I wanted to share some of our other holiday traditions and learn about your holiday traditions.
Last year, I shared about our traditional "wrapping party", aside from that, here are some of our other holiday traditions:
- Every year on Christmas Eve, we drive through a certain neighborhood that goes all out with holiday lights. The kids love it and it is such fun to see what changes each year. There is also some of the neighborhood kids that set up a stand and sell hot chocolate and popcorn, so we buy some of that too. Last year, we had some live deer cross right in front of our van and the kids got all excited and thought they must have been Santa's.
- When we decorate the tree, we play Christmas music and drink hot chocolate.
- Baking Christmas cookies is an all day activity with me and the kids. They love helping in the kitchen and it helps ease the load.
- We read the Christmas story from the scriptures before opening gifts on Christmas morning.
- We attend a living Nativity every year at a local church and discuss what Christmas is really about.
Another tradition, I heard that someone does is to choose a special gift for Santa each year, such as a warm hat or nice boots. They leave the gift for Santa which is then rumored to be donated to a local shelter. I think this is a wonderful way to help others and truly honor the spirit of Santa Claus. I know others who throw a birthday party, complete with cake, for Jesus. What are some of the traditions you grew up with and follow today or what are some of the traditions you have started with your family? If you are interested in starting new, meaningful traditions, there is a great article here.