Family Christmas traditions are to be created, continued, and treasured. Here are some ideas of what works and what doesn’t in our family:
After the last day of school before Christmas vacation, let the kids stay up as long as they want. (Very exciting for grade school kids, but high schoolers will likely do this anyway.)
As a family, spend the night camped out in sleeping bags in front of the lighted Christmas tree. Once the little ones fall asleep, parents can sneak off to a real bed.
Take candid photos
“Kodak moments,” a phrase named after the camera company, refers to ideal moments captured in a photo. You anticipate, strategize, raise your expectations, and spend far too much time maneuvering and attempting to get that perfect picture. In our family, that rarely works. Instead, take lots of candid photos and you may be surprised with the precious moments you capture.
Start a new tradition
Make a tradition out of something your family does, no matter how seemingly insignificant. When our kids were little, we took pictures as they sat on the couch and opened their stockings on Christmas morning. Our stockings have silly little practical gifts and chocolate, but the photo became a cherished tradition. If I ever get organized, I would make a time lapse of all those photos—growing kids and the same couch over two decades.
Pray for others
Pray through the Christmas cards you receive. After we eat dinner, we each take several cards and pray for those families. This is a great way to ask God’s blessing on our friends and family, especially those who live far away. I enjoy introducing my kids to people they do not remember or have never met. Every year, I try to do this and am always met by resistance—from everyone in my family. Sometimes this takes me until February and I end up praying alone, but I think this is an important tradition.
May God bless you as you create, keep, and treasure your Christmas traditions!