Some Christian Christmas Family Traditions

by truthsearcher 5 Replies latest jw experiences

  • truthsearcher

    I don't know if there are any out there who may be wanting to celebrate Christmas this year from a Christian perspective. I thought I would share a few ways that as a family, we have tried to make "family traditions" that take the focus off of materialism and on to the celebration of the birth of Christ. You may have heard of these before...

    On Christmas eve, we have Shepherd's Pie for supper and think of the shepherds who received the good news out in the fields. For dessert we have a birthday cake for Jesus (complete with candles). We know that this was not really the date of Christ's birth, but this is the time that we have chosen to celebrate it. We usually go with a Black Forest Cake but probably Angel Food Cake would be more appropriate! Then we go to church for a time of singing carols by candlelight.

    On Christmas morning, the children have to stay in bed until they hear music playing over the CD player--that is there cue to get up. This gives me time to make hot chocolate for everyone, turn the lights on the tree, make sure everything is just right. They love this part of waiting in anticipation in their beds. The music blares out (usually at 8 am) and it is something very seasonal--Ring the Bells, etc. Then we wait at the foot of the stairs to see the wee ones tumble down in their jammies and the older ones groggily pull themselves from bed. It is a precious memory!

    We all gather in the family room and Dad brings his Bible and reads to us the Christmas story. We thank the Lord together for his coming to the world as our Saviour. Then we take turns opening our presents--there is no mad dash free for all. We make sure to show appreciation and affection to one another for the gifts. It takes quite a while to do this but it is very rewarding, because a lot of time and effort has gone into picking gifts. We don't teach about Santa--the kids know that the gifts come from us as an expression of love. I have a collection of nativity scenes that I set up around the house, and don't use Santa decorations. We do have stockings but they aren't from Santa. The big laugh is how hard it is for Dad to find stuff for Mom (the kids try and help him out, and look forward to doing this every year). We limit the amount of money we spend on ourselvesand we give money to charity.

    When we get together with our extended family, we follow a similar "plan of attack", even though Nana loves the "free-for-all", we are trying to not make it a materialistic part of the celebration. We eat of course, and then we sing, play musical instruments, recite poetry, etc.d It is a lovely time of sharing together as an extended family. We live several hours apart and have busy family lives so it is great to set this time aside together.

    Finally, on January 6 th, which is the traditional church date for Epiphany (arrival of the wise men), we order in Chineese food (they came from the East after all) and we take down our decorations. When the kids were young, they dressed up as kings and marched around the house to music.

    Also, I was reading about reducing the gifts to children to 3, and tying it into the meaning of the gifts that were presented to Christ by the wisemen: gold (something special), frankincence (something to help them spritually--books, video, Cd, Bible, etc.) and myrrh (something to "annoint" their body--soap, Bubble bath, toiletries, etc.) We haven't done that but it is an interesting idea.

    My purpose in sharing this is not to convice anyone of the right or wrong of celebrating Christmas but just to offer some ideas of how we have chosen to celebrate this season. We do other things like inviting all the neighbours over for a special night, giving food to the local food bank, sending gifts with Operation Christmas Child to children in underpriviledged countries. So, if this year, you are making new traditions, pehaps some of these ideas will be helpful.

  • Effervescent

    Those are some great ideas. I actually might use the one about playing Christmas carols to let everyone know they can get out of bed- I like it!

  • truthsearcher

    I need to give credit to my mom for that music tradition. She started it when I was little. She said it gave her time to get everything looking "just right" before we all came down. I am glad to pass it along to my own kids, and now my daughter is doing the same with it has become a true family tradition. Make sure the volume is up high, that's part of the fun!

    I also should credit my Dad with the reading of the Christmas story from Luke before we opened our gifts.

  • sammielee24

    Growing up we had simple Christmas traditions like my mother filling our stockings and laying them across the foot of our bed while we slept. When we awoke on Christmas day we would sit and spend that bit of time emptying our stockings. We also had hot salmon pie every Christmas morning without fail and by mid morning the house was packed with all the relatives making their way merrily to each others houses for a Christmas visit and eggnog cheer. sammieswife.

  • lisavegas420

    My nine year old granddaughter wanted to know if we could go caroling...hahaha...yea right.

    I told her I'd stand out on the street like we do when she goes trick-or-treating.


  • truthsearcher

    Good morning Lisa: Carolling is lots of fun! But it is definitely much better in a large group (preferably with some good, loud voices!) Another option is carry a portable music player of some type, with a CD of people singing, and then just crank it up and join in. People are usually quite amused when you show up at their doorstep, but it is often better to go to people that you know, 'cuz then they might invite you in for some "figgy pudding". Of course, this might not be advisable for those who are fading or doubting! Seriously, there are often community and church groups that will go carolling at nursing homes and such, so if your grand daughter is that keen, you might find a way to provide this experience. We always sing together as a family after the BIG meal has digested a bit. It helps that I am a pianist but you could always just sing along to a CD.

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