Looking back at my childhood, some of my fondest memories of Christmas were the traditions we had as a family every year. Now that we have our own family and our girls are getting older, Mark and I have come to realize that the traditions we have started to set in place are an important value for us. Already, some of their favorite Christmas memories are the traditions we have, not the presents they receive. Presents can break and lay forgotten, but the traditions and memories that are made, are built for a lifetime.
Children love routine. Even when it comes to Christmas, they like routine. Whether you open presents Christmas Eve or Christmas Day; or you have to eat breakfast before you open presents, make sure you try and do it the same way every year. What you do every year makes a fun memory for your child. They look forward to it and often times will talk non-stop about it☺… thus, creating your traditions.
There are so many different traditions you can have for your family, whether you take some from your childhood, create your own or adopt some traditions from another family. Anyway you go about it, just make them your own.
I’m going to share four Christmas traditions we have, one is from my childhood, one is from Mark’s childhood and the other two are ones we adopted and created for our girls.
My favorite tradition we had growing up was on Christmas Eve. Every year we gathered around the Christmas tree and lit candles around the living room and turned off all the lights. My dad would read the Christmas story from the Bible and then we would sing all the Christmas carols we could remember…I remember my dear Nana Pat would harmonize in her sweet alto voice every year. After we sang, my mom would place the different kinds of Christmas cookies we made out on the table. We would enjoy some Wassail that had been brewing on the stove with the aroma wafting through the house while we sang. (Wassail is a warm apple cider drink with fresh oranges, cloves and many other spices). This is a tradition we have carried on with our children and they look forward to it every year! They even were able to hear Nana Pat sing for several years before she passed away.The second tradition we have is from Mark’s childhood. His sweet grandma made homemade donuts every year called Cruellers. Mark grew up making them with his family and a couple years ago we decided that it would be a super fun tradition to carry on every Christmas Eve morning with our family. We make the dough from scratch and we have a donut cutter that even cuts out the donut holes! The girls help cut out the donuts and Mark is the official fryer. Yes, that’s correct, they are fried…and so worth every calorie! Then once they cool for a minute we fill one big ziploc bag with cinnamon and sugar and another with powdered sugar and the girls take turns shaking the donuts in the bags. They love this!
The third tradition we have is picking out Christmas ornaments. I’m not sure what year we started this, but it has been several now. We take them to a store and they each get to choose their own ornament for the year. When we get home we write their initials and the year they bought it on the ornament and then hang it on our tree. The idea behind this tradition is that they will be able to take all of their ornaments they picked out over the years and add them to their own tree when they move out. More memories from their childhood! We also choose a special family ornament every year and date it as well. We usually try to pick one out that represents some significant event or time from our year as a family.
The fourth tradition we have is our hot cocoa pajama run. After the girls are snug in their beds, we run down the hall yelling “pajama run, pajama run!” They scramble out in their pajamas and we all pile into the car! We go to a local coffee shop for some hot cocoa and then drive around and look at Christmas lights while sipping our hot chocolate.
Traditions are a wonderful way to create sweet memories that will last a lifetime for your children. Have fun creating and making your own or adding to the traditions you already have!
Merry Christmas and may your season be full of making memories and family and the most important gift of all, Jesus.