Life today is hectic. It is easy to forget the important things as we rush through our day. One of the things which brings extra meaning to our life are our family traditions. These can be traditions we grew up with or the traditions we create for ourselves in our own families. Christmas is a time of year rich in traditions. Christmas is traditionally a Christian holiday but I think one of the reasons Christmas is so special to us all is that it is the time of year when we prioritise our family and those dear to us. Lasting memories are created when we gather together with our family and celebrate friendships with the special people in our lives.
I would love to share with you some of the traditions which add much happiness to the way we celebrate Christmas as a family. Life can get in the way of good intentions and some years we add traditions, and may not get around to others, but they are important rituals we try to achieve. Use these as a few ideas for your family, and if you have your own traditions please share in the comments section below.
Gingerbread house: My kids and I always decorate a gingerbread house as part of our Christmas tradition. I love to make the house from scratch but if life is too hectic I will buy a pre-baked house. I have a friend who has a similar tradition and sometimes we get the kids together and share the experience.
The Christmas Tree: The Christmas Tree is the focal point of Christmas in our home. To take away any drudgery associated with putting up the tree we break the task into two parts. Firstly we put up the tree and place the lights onto it. The following day we decorate the tree. Whilst decorating we have our favourite Christmas movie playing in the background and we share happy family time as we decorate.
Light displays: Decorating the house and gardens with lights has grown in popularity over the last several years. After a little research online and input from friends we love to spend an evening driving and admiring the wonderful Christmas light displays people work so hard on, on their homes and in their gardens.
Advent calendar: For children the lead up to Christmas and the counting down of days until Santa arrives is probably the highlight of their year. Advent calendars are a special part of this anticipation. We have load of fund with a train calendar, which allows us to put little treats in each of the drawers. The treats do not always have to be sweets I often include notes or clues to puzzles or little activities we can all enjoy together.
Christmas party: Every year we host a Christmas party. It is not a grand affair but just a special time for us to remind our friends and family how much they mean to us.
Christmas movies: Watching favourite Christmas movies tucked up on the couch together is a real highlight for my children and I.
Christmas Shop: A visit to your favourite Christmas shop is a must in the lead up to Christmas. We have the children select one special ornament each year. When it comes to decorating the tree they always remember which special ornament belongs to them. One day when they leave home to start their own Christmas traditions we will package them up for their own Christmas tree.
Giving Tree: We have many blessings in our lives but sadly not everyone is so fortunate. Each year the children choose a gift for a giving tree for a child not as blessed as themselves.
So these are our Christmas traditions. The common theme is that they are simple and fun, and ways for me to spend special times with my children and husband. I look forward to hearing some of your Christmas traditions too.