By Jim Burns
Traditions are important for families because they provide opportunities to keep your family legacy going. From the simple to the silly to the sentimental, traditions can create meaningful memories. Don’t hesitate to try out some new traditions this Christmas season and see what works and what doesn’t for your own family. Here are a few ideas:
- Letters to Jesus. Before opening your Christmas presents, write thank-you letters to Jesus. Collect them and make them available every Christmas. Keep adding new letters annually.
- Live out an annual family version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. First identify a friend, relative, or neighbor to receive all the “gifts.” Then create a unique gift for each day of the song (i.e., five golden rings could be five glazeddonuts) and place the gifts on the recipient’s front porch.
- Go Christmas caroling. Take a walk around your immediate neighborhood and stop at homes and sing Christmas carols.
- Visit a Nursing Home. There are usually a lot of lonely people living in nursing homes – especially during the Christmas season. Prepare some Christmas cookies and take your family to visit a nursing home—and spread the love of Jesus.
- Help at a food bank or soup kitchen. Try spending Christmas dayhelping the needy at a local food bank or soup kitchen. You never know, your kids may never want to spend Christmas day at home again.
- Celebrate your family’s ethnic heritage(s). Sometime during the Christmas season, prepare a family meal(s) that celebrates your family’s ethnic heritage. This is a great way to connect with your family roots.
- Ice skating on Christmas Eve – day. Gather the family and head out to an ice rink or local (frozen!) pond for some time on the ice. It’s a great way to spend some family time and it keeps the kids active.
- Attend a local community Christmas event. This tradition can really take hold if the community holds the same event annually.
- Sing “Happy Birthday” to Jesus on Christmas Day. After all, it is Jesus’ birthday that we celebrate.
- Read the Christmas story from Luke 2. Whether you open your gifts on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning, try having someone from your family read the Christmas story out loud before opening gifts.
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