December is a great time of year for family traditions. Traditions bring families closer together by spending time with one another, and bringing together generations of the family. Think back to when you were a child and what your family did together to get ready for the Christmas season. These can be some of the traditions you pass on to your children. Also, think about what you might have liked to do but your family was unable to accomplish. These can be new traditions you can start with your own family.
Some families with older children may begin their Christmas season by getting together for a big shopping adventure on Black Friday. You can start your day by going to a family breakfast at a local restaurant, or if your adventure requires you to be in line early have a family lunch after your shopping . Families with younger children can begin their Christmas season by attending a community light-up festivity or Christmas parade.
Another family tradition is Christmas pictures. Most people get these taken late November or early December, the pictures can be of just the children or the entire family. These images can then be used for Christmas card s to send to family and friends. You can also choose t o make your own Christmas cards with your children by using card stock and a variety of stampers or other craft supplies, then inserting your family picture inside.
As the Christmas season continues, so can the family traditions. Almost all
Christian families have a Christmas tree displayed in their home. This is a great time for traditions. If your family chooses to have a live Christmas tree, get the family together for the adventure of choosing the perfect tree. You may choose to find a local tree farm where you can explore the fields and cut down your perfect tree, or you can choose to go to the local tree lot to find your perfect tree. If your family chooses an artificial tree, take time to put it up together as a family. Once you have your tree placed in its stand , work together as a family decorating your tree. One can make this time even more special for the children by letting each child have their own special ornaments to place on the tree. You and your children can make some simple ornaments together; these can be ornaments with your child’s name on them, which can be made by purchasing blank colored ornaments and adding glue covered by glitter. Plaster hand impression ornaments or ornament kits bought at a local craft store and assembled together can also be added to your tree.
Christmas lights are another fascination for the young and old and can continue the family traditions for the season. Take some time out of your busy life and enjoy the beautiful illuminations by going to a local public display or just jumping in the car and driving around your town to experience the wonderful sights. Some local churches and youth groups will often have a living nativity to visit during this time.
As Christmas grows nearer young children anticipate the arrival of Santa Claus. Going to visit Santa at a special location can be another tradition. Your local mall is a good place to go and talk to Santa. Some garden centers also have Santa visits that sometimes includ e a visit by his reindeer. Most places to see Santa offer you a photo opportunity. This is a great remembrance for you and your children. When your children are grown they will enjoy looking at these pictures and reminiscing what they did at that time.
The biggest time for family traditions comes on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. If you are troubled by having two families to visit, splitting the holiday as two separate special days can be a great solution. You can begin this special time on Christmas Eve with one side of the family, by have a special family dinner with foods only eaten on this day. Most families have a meal that is symbolic of the family’s nationality. Once dinner is finished, have the family gather around the lighted Christmas tree and sing Christmas carols. When finished, gifts may be exchanged between the family members that are present on this evening. The evening can conclude by attending an evening Christmas ceremony at your church or this can be the beginning of your Christmas Day.
On Christmas Day following your church service (if you didn’t go on Christmas Eve) show your children the importance of the holiday by saying Happy Birthday to the infant Jesus. One family tradition that can be started is taking the infant Jesus statue from your nativity set and having each child hold it and say Happy Birthday to Him before replacing in the nativity scene. Once everyone in the family has had a turn let the children open their anticipated Christmas gifts. On Christmas Day, spend time with the other side of the family that you didn’t visit on Christmas Eve. You may choose to visit them at their house or have them come to yours. A special lunch or dinner can be eaten with th e family, which may include different ethnic foods if one side of the family is of a different nationality. After this meal, you may exchange gifts from this part of your family with your children.
The family tradition of visiting extended family can begin or continue in the days after Christmas. This brings even more of your family together, as aunts, uncles, and cousins are also very important for you and your children to visit at this time of year. Visiting different relatives may become an exciting time for your children because they will anticipate getting special cookies or foods. They may even have that special relative who has a unique tree or train display that truly makes it a Christmas season to remember, for the children, now and for years to come.