One of the things that brings me great joy is thinking back to my childhood and the certainty I had around celebrations just knowing that ‘this was the way it would be done’. It gave me comfort and a real sense of security to know that:
- My birthday would begin with presents on Mum and Dad's bed.
- Summer holidays would be spent at my Grandmother's house.
- We went to church as a family every sunday.
Every Sunday was when we went to church as a family.
- The Christmas day routine was always the same: Wake up, open our Santa present, church, open Christmas presents.
The same, every single year.
I loved it.
I loved our Christmas Day routine so much that I actually had a little trouble when I got married, understanding that there was any other way to 'do' Christmas Day! But more than that, I have especially loved watching our children grow up and seeing that same sense of comfort and security in them, when they just know how we 'do' Christmas in our family.
So what are your traditions? Old and new? What have you done time after time that you're looking forward to again this year?
But just as importantly, what can you start to show your kids what Christmas and being a part of your family really means?
Some of the ideas that we are trying are:
- Create a family advent calendar. The cute ones with the chocolates in them are awesome (we have those too) but last year and this year I have prepared 24 activities for the children, focusing on the real meaning of Christmas. They include going to the local hospital and thanking them for their hard work, doing some baking for friends and sitting down together and reading the Christmas story. It might work for you to find some age appropriate activities your family will enjoy and plan them for the days leading up to Christmas.
- This year (thanks to my awesome friends on facebook) we're trying a Christmas Eve box. We'll give the box to the children on Christmas Eve and in there will be new pyjamas for them, a Christmas DVD to watch and some snacks for the movie. What a wonderful way to enjoy Christmas Eve, spending time together preparing to celebrate one of the most wonderful events of the Christian calendar.
What are your traditions? Is there a sense of anticipation from your family surrounding the wonderful way you 'do' Christmas or is there an open slate ready for you to create some great new traditions this year?