Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Traditions

Christmas is a time of mixed emotions for me. Never in all the time since I have had memory do I remember a Christmas that has lived up the to hype, hope and expectations. In my little girl days I always remember feeling a little strange about this time because we celebrated differently - no Santa and only small useful gifts - and because in my heart I had come to believe that this day will somehow be different and more magical then any other.

So now that I have my own children I again find myself filled with mixed feelings. On the one hand I want this time to speak of Christ the most amazing gift and of him only. On the other, I love the traditions that surround Christmas, the tree, lights and gifts. The look of delight on my children's faces when they see all the decorations and excitement for the time when we get the eat the candy canes from the tree, is precious.

This time of the year, more than any other, we should be filled with gratitude and awe at the sacrifice of our saviour. To think the King of all kings came to earth as a babe so that we might call him Father! Wow! Let the enormity of that settle in your heart - its huge.

My dilemma is this: how do we teach our children what Christmas is really all about while still building traditions that makes this time special and exciting? I'm not sure and that's why I'm asking.
How do you celebrate Christmas? What things have become tradition in your family? We have not yet settled on anything that feels completely right and I am hoping that your suggestions will give us some ideas that we can borrow.


marli said...

I love the idea of teaching kids where all the traditions originated from. After all most christmas things have a christian background. For example candy canes, the colours (white and red) does that not symbolise the blood that Christ had to shed to wash us a white as snow? If you have time reseach these things and find out why they have become the traditions of today.
This way you are still celebrating Jesus and teaching your children that its all about him while enjoying all (or at least most) of the traditions. Even Santa (in St Nicholas) had humble and christian values in the beginning our world just likes to make us forget this.

Abbington said...

I have found this article pretty useful for thinking about how to keep Christ central, but still let the kids join in all the other celebrations/traditions, too.

Abbington said...

I don't think the link worked properly last time