Christmas music is playing now everywhere I go and the lights are shining bright. The season is here. I want to enjoy and let the stress of the weeks that lead up that wonderful day that is gone so quickly. I want to remember why we celebrate this season. I always find myself this time of year thinking about the past. Thinking about Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my girls. The fun, the laughs, the surprises, and most importantly the family traditions we have created together and continue to create over the years. I believe that traditions are important for families and can be past down to the next generation. Paul reminds me of the importance of traditions in 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.”
My family has a few old traditions like the mouse calendar countdown to Christmas. Our girls would almost fight to get to move the mouse each day. They loved for the one whose turn it was to forget, so later in the day the mouse would secretly be moved. This simple purchase so many years ago has brought so much joy to our family. Even now my husband takes pictures of Harley moving the mouse and sends it our now grown daughters. It is a special memory and tradition in our home, and one I hope continues in the homes of our daughters one day with their children.
Jesus Birthday Cake
Another great tradition for our family is baking Jesus’s Birthday Cake and singing Happy Birthday to him on Christmas Day. Today my girls bake the cake and decorate the cake together instead of me, but I enjoy watching them back home together in the kitchen having fun carrying on our family tradtion. We still gather round the cake on Christmas afternoon and sing and eat his birthday cake! This is definitely one of my favorite Christmas memories and traditions! “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7
As an educator, I could not help but wonder about the traditions of my students, so I asked them to share favorite Christmas traditions with me on a Chalkboard in the school library. It is engaging to hear them talk about the little things their families do together that are important to them. Here are a few from this years board:
- Enchiladas for Breakfast on Christmas morning. Why? Her family is from Guatemala and this is just something her grandmother has always done.
- Crab Legs for Christmas Eve. This student was super excited to share how much the night means getting to eat the crab legs!
- Lights. One student just shared how much she enjoys lights and lots of lights. She and I have that in common.
Over the years I have heard some wonderful traditions that families share. Some I wish I had even thought of. Some that brought a great laugh but was still so important to the student.
- One I wish I had thought of is only receiving three gifts for Christmas. “And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11
- Several years ago a student shared that on Christmas Eve they had to eat their meal with a different utensil from the kitchen. This was a long family tradition and brought lots of laughter around the table. Who knew what you would get? How do you eat with a whisk?
The Gift of Jesus
Traditions are important in families and even school communities. God shows us how to celebrate him anywhere. This is a like a tradition. Praise the Lord in all that we do as Psalm 150:1-6 exclaims, “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! …”
During this Christmas season with traditions being shared and even created remembering the reason we have this season is the most important. God loved us that he gave us the greatest gift of all. He gave us His Son. He gave us Life. ““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16.
Closing Verse: “Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.” 1 Corinthians 11:2
Challenge: During this Christmas Season full of traditions don’t forget God’s traditions and gifts in your life.