Last week I had the privilege of sharing “Keeping Christ in CHRISTmas” at a local MOPS gathering (one of my favorite things to do!). During my message I highlighted the joy of family traditions, especially during the Christmas season.
As one mom/author says, “It’s amazing how short a distance you have to go to find Jesus in our present-day symbols and traditions. …”
I wholeheartedly agree!
Whether we’re cutting down a Christmas tree, baking cookies, or wrapping gifts—we can be tying in the True Reason for the Season: Jesus.
Here are some of our favorite family Bultema Christmas traditions. Enjoy!
(Please know…there have been many years we’ve not done all of these. Please don’t get any crazy ideas like we have it all together. Trust me… 🙂 )
1. Plan a Pajama Ride! Tuck your children into bed as usual. Get hot chocolate, blankets, and Christmas music ready (and your car/van warmed up). Yell “Pajama Ride” and watch your kids pop out of bed! Go for a ride to see the lights while singing Christmas carols together. Talk about Jesus being the “light of the world.”
(Our kids, now in middle school/high school/college, still talk about this tradition. We started when they were in diapers and they still love it. Of course, we now go through the Starbucks drive-thru or stop at Krispy Kreme, so that helps.)
2. Open one present each on Christmas Eve. Let it be a new pair of flannel pajamas to be worn on Christmas morning.
3. Give each child a Christmas ornament each year that reflects his/her interests. When that child marries, give him/her the collection as a wedding gift.
(This year I ordered an Aquinas College ornament, clarinet player, bike rider and gymnast. Can you guess which Bultema kid will receive which ornament?)
4. Watch a Christmas movie (or two) together. (My kids like to check our schedule from abc family – 25 Days of Christmas.) Make popcorn and treats. Put your feet up and enjoy the family time 🙂
5. Make Christmas Cookies. Don’t worry, I still don’t bake. But I do LOVE the frozen, pre-cut/shaped cookies from Gordon Food Service. Just put them on a tray and bake ’em up. That along with a canister of white frosting that I tint is now my staple Christmas cookie recipe.
Awesome! Plus it keeps the kids busy for hours! 🙂
6. Our Very Own Christmas Tree – John and I have a tradition of purchasing an ornament every year when we go on our “mini-moons“. Last year John put up a small Christmas tree in our bedroom with all the ornaments (and yes, we kept it up all year long!). I love it 🙂
7. Deliver Christmas Cards & Cookies to the Neighbors – The kids always have fun going up and down the street delivering our “homemade” goodies and warm Christmas greeting.
8. Holiday Family Photo – Take a family photo in the same spot each year. (Not that we’re into Santa, but we take one with the big jolly guy every year). Here are some from the early years..
I have a book where I put our new Santa picture every year. In years to come, we’ll have a wonderful record of the growth of our family.
9. Christmas Book Basket – We’ve accumulated quite the stash of Christmas books. My little Sarah treasures them! She LOVES when we get the Christmas books out (and cries when we put them away).
Another idea I heard… individually wrap 25 Christmas books and place them in a basket near your tree. Beginning on December 1, a child picks a “present” from the basket, unwraps it, and then you can read it together. Siblings take turns choosing the “present.” You can even read the book at night by flashlight as you lie next to the Christmas tree. If you only have 7 books, then begin 7 days before Christmas.
10. Happy Birthday Jesus Party
On Christmas morning, we always have a birthday party for Jesus. We play games. Eat cake (some years we’ve made the “Jesus birthday cake“, although last year I ordered this fun cake.)
We all bring a “gift” to present to baby Jesus, sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, and read the story of Jesus in Luke 2: 1-16.
There you have it— ten of our favorite Christmas family memorie-makers. How about for you? What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! God’s richest blessings to you!
I have some of the same traditions started at our home as you do. Christmas Eve after dinner is when the kids each have 2 presents to open. One is the Christmas pjs and the other is an ornament. We have started doing this since they were born so, when they start their own family, they will have a wonderful starter kit of ornaments from their childhood. Dad then reads “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and after Mom reads “The First Christmas – The Story of the Nativity”. It is a cherished event. Happy Holidays to everyone.