Making Christmas Special By Building Traditions
Since childhood I have always cherished Christmas with all it’s decorations, and lights aglow. Christmas is a time to celebrate family and tradition. One of the best things you can do for the Christmas holiday is to incorporate your own family traditions into the day. Family traditions are something that can be enjoyed by everyone, year after year. The first thing you want to do in the scheme of things is to think about what you did with your own family growing up and what you enjoyed most as a child. Are there things from your childhood, and of your spouse or significant other, which you can use to build lasting traditions for your children? Starting with your family’s traditions and then building your own is always a good idea.
Early in the holiday season is the time to decide if your family traditions will include a visit to relatives or if you will spend the Christmas holiday at your own home. Some people prefer large gatherings for Christmas, while others prefer to spend a quieter day at home with their own children, spouse or significant other. Whatever you decide, as a couple is fine, as long as you are both are in agreement.
One fun tradition you can build is acquiring your Christmas tree. You always have the option of fresh or artificial. For an artificial one you can build a tradition of everyone helping to put the tree together and place the ornaments on it. If you plan to use a fresh tree, you can go out together to cut it down, either in a local forest or tree farm, or even buy your Christmas tree from the same lot each year. You can then build traditions around who puts on what ornaments and who ultimately puts the topper on the tree.
If you will be using a fresh tree, invariably you will have branches which you will need to trim off the bottom. Make it a family tradition to decorate with fragrant bows around your home or have your children make and decorate a wreath for your front door, or even for an elderly neighbor.
Another wonderful way to build tradition into your Christmas holiday is by remembering those less fortunate than your own family. It is always important to teach your children about giving to others and the fact that it is just simply a good thing to do as a human being. You can show this at the Christmas holiday season through gifts for those less fortunate or even through donations to a local food bank. Often quality foods are on sale during the holiday. It is a simple thing to pick-up some extra food items and then donate them to your local food bank. This simple act can be the difference between another family having food or not during the holidays.
Churches and banks in our own local area often have a tree with an angel on top. There are children who are in foster homes or in families who cannot afford gifts for them for the holidays. You might donate gifts to needy families to help make their Christmas memorable. It can be a great family tradition to select a star or two from the tree and have your children help you shop for the gifts. This teaches your children empathy and also shows them that the holiday is not all about what they receive, but also about what they give to others.
Another way to build family traditions is through the food you make and serve at the holiday time. I know that in my own family, the Christmas holiday is the only time which we bake sugar cookies from scratch and decorate them. In fact, we usually take an entire afternoon and dedicate it to baking treats. Your children will look forward to this each year.
As you can clearly see, building your own Christmas traditions does not have to be hard or extremely time consuming. However, if you take the time to think through the holidays, you can build in some traditions that will last a lifetime and even generations! We wish you and yours much love this holiday season. Merry Christmas, and a Joyous New Year!