Christmas is filled with anticipation of the coming big day, and the days leading up to it should be celebrated just as much as the day is.
Being part of a family inevitably means there will be traditions passed down through the years. Many people share specific Christmas traditions with their family that they learned from their own families growing up.
But maybe you’re just beginning your Christmas holidays as a family and you don’t really have any traditions of your own yet. There are many popular traditions that you can pick from and make them a part of your own holiday traditions. There are traditions that are suitable for any age group.
Making Christmas Cards
One favorite holiday tradition in many families is making Christmas cards to send out. You can choose to send cards personalized with your own family photo and a poem or a few lines telling the receiver what they mean to you. Some families enclose a letter in their cards telling about the happenings and events that went on throughout the year. If you don’t have the time to make Christmas cards, you can get store bought ones and add your own touch to them.
Writing Letters To Santa
Young children can write letters to Santa and take them to the local post office. Some post offices have a special box set up just for letters from Santa. Another tradition for kids is baking and decorating Christmas cookies together, and then setting some out for Santa on Christmas Eve, along with a nice glass of milk.
Attending A Christmas Church Service
Another well-known holiday tradition is attending a church event together. Many churches have Christmas Eve services that are beautiful with all the decorations and the soft glow of candlelight. Many churches choose to pass on the live poinsettias they use in decorations on to the people who attend the service.
Christmas Eve Dinner
A well received tradition is the practice of dining by candlelight on Christmas Eve and afterward, each family member opens one gift. You’ll want to set aside a particular gift on Christmas Eve so that you’re not digging through the piles of gifts to find it.
Attend A Christmas Event
Most cities have Christmas parades or Christmas music shows that residents can attend. We have two Christmas events that we traditionally attend – the Singing Christmas Tree at our church, and a play – The Christmas Carol. Find out what your city has to offer, and make it a habit to attend one event every year.
Decorating the Christmas Tree
Kids can also get involved in decorating the Christmas tree and as you hang the ornaments on the tree, share the stories behind them. If there’s no history behind the ornaments, you can share bits of your history with your child or talk about the meaning of Christmas.
Putting up the tree can become a time of sharing conversation that children look forward to. You can start a tradition of listening to certain songs as you put up the tree. One family listened to Bing Crosby Christmas songs while putting up their tree over forty ago, then their grown children kept up the tradition and later passed it on to their children.
After the gifts are open, gather together to sing Christmas songs, or go out Christmas caroling. I remember year-after-year gathering around the organ, at my cousins’ house, to sing Christmas songs . Someone was always off-key (could it have been me?).
Christmas Eve Traditions
The night before Christmas, begin the tradition of reading a Christmas book, sharing the Christmas story, or watching a much loved Christmas movie together.
Whatever traditions you decide to incorporate into your family, you’ll be glad you did. It’ll make the holidays more meaningful and give everyone something to look forward to.
Do you have a favorite tradition that you’d like share?