It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! My house is decorated with Christmas favorites, the lights are twinkling and presents are appearing under the tree. My day at work is interrupted by thoughts of being in my kitchen listening to Christmas music and baking the Christmas goodies I loved as a kid.
Everything about Christmas stirs up memories of childhood: tinsel on the tree, stockings hung by the fireplace, cookies and candies all over the kitchen, colorful packages waiting to be shaken, and those wonderful Christmas movies. Remember when we had to wait for December to enjoy them? BEFORE VHS or DVD!
My children are grown now (almost). Jennifer is 25, Bryan 22 and Eric 17. But still, our family sticks to the same traditions we all enjoyed when the kids were young. Now, with two married kids, I get to welcome another daughter and son into those wonderful traditions.
We girls, Jen, Cari and I, will get together to bake the Christmas goodies while we share our favorite Christmas music and recipes with one another.
The boys (Bud, Bryan, Michael and Eric) will attempt to beat the girls in our annual gingerbread house competition. I will admit that the boys’ addition of the hot tub – complete with a gingerbread man basking in hot chocolate – was quite brilliant last year!
As you enjoy your family this season, why not re-live your childhood Christmas traditions or create some new ones to add to your family’s “memory box” for the years to come.
Here are a few ideas that have been gathered from others just like you who want to proclaim the good news of the birth of Jesus Christ, and to celebrate and enjoy this precious season with family and friends.
- Mold a nativity scene from clay (or play dough) and display in a prominent place. Tell the story of Jesus’ birth while you do this.
- Plan a night for everyone to bundle up and take a drive to enjoy the many houses that are lit up for the season. Talk about how the lights add so much joy to a neighborhood and then discuss how the light of Christ adds joy to your home and family.
- Pick out a children’s Christmas book and read together. A few of my favorites: “B is for Bethlehem,” “The Crippled Lamb,” or “Santa, Are You For Real?”
- If you have small children – make an “edible” tree! String Cheerios and Fruit loops for garland; bake gingerbread cookies and hang with licorice strings for ornaments; make popcorn balls (adding red and green food coloring) and hang in place of breakables.
However you celebrate, may you and your family experience the gift of Jesus Christ who brings the true joy of Christmas to our hearts. I wish you a very Merry Christmas!
* For more Christmas family traditions and ideas, pick up a VCNP Family Activity Calendar in the Vineyard Kids lobby.