2 Simple And Meaningful Christmas Morning Traditions
There are only a few days until Christmas, and perhaps you find yourself wishing that your good intentions for family worship and meaningful Advent traditions had come to fruition. Some years are like that - new babies or family illnesses or hectic schedules (amongst other things) can cause December 25th to sneak up on us. If this is you, be encouraged! It's not too late to add some simple and meaningful elements to your Christmas morning celebration! Here are two ideas we love:
When Ben and I got married and were just beginning to blend our holiday traditions and come up with our own, we decided that instead of finding gifts in our stockings we would find a letter. We each wrote about our year - noting the memorable moments, recalling the struggles and laughter, and speaking words of affirmation and hope to one another. On Christmas morning we read these aloud, and we loved it so much that we've done it every year since.
We have continued the tradition with our kids as well - partly because I have an aversion to small, cheap toys - but mostly because it is so powerful to write and then speak words of love and life to our children. We say things like, "This year you discovered video games and you love them!" but also observances about their character such as, "This year we have seen you grow and mature in this way...We were so proud of you when...We are praying that you will be..."
This is one of my very favorite parts of Christmas morning. My husband, who NEVER cries, even gets a little choked up when the Christmas letters are opened and read (he gave me permission to tell you that). It is so meaningful to say, "I see you, and I love you, and I'm so thankful for you."
The kids enjoy the letters, but I'm pretty sure that, like us, they'll LOVE them when they're older. These Christmas letters are kept in our fire-safe box - a family treasure. Naming the strengths we see in each other is powerful. I wrote an entire article on that topic that you can read here.
Unwrapping Your Bible
We are forever looking for ways to instill in our children the fact that God Himself is the best and most beautiful gift we have received. One way to make this reality more tangible is to wrap up your family Bibles (one for each member of the family) and have everyone open their Bible before commencing with the other packages under the tree. We are going to place a sticky note in each Bible which marks a particular passage that each person will read (or, for those too young to read, a parent or older sibling can help out). We will follow up these readings with a prayer or a Christmas carol, and that's it. Short and sweet.
Instead of marking the traditional Christmas passages (which we just heard at our Christmas Eve service), we are going to read these:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory,
glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
2 Cor. 9:15
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
On Christmas morning we are focused on gifts, and that's not a bad thing, but let's help our families stay focused on the best ones! God gave us the best gift of all when He gave us Himself. And another wonderful gift worth celebrating is that He gave us to each other.
What great joy!
From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!
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