Sunday, November 29, 2009
We put our Christmas tree up tonight. I think this is one of the earliest times we've done it before (we tend to put it up later and keep it up through at least the "twelve days of Christmas"). We're still developing those holiday traditions as our children are getting older. Everybody gets at least one Christmas ornament each year, so we each have a box with our own things to hang on the tree. I noticed tonight that our tree has become more about what the kids want to hang on it than anything else (back in the years before kids we'd occasionally do themes with the ornaments).
Another tradition we started tonight as well was doing Advent devotions together each night. We're using Jesse Tree family devotions again this year (some years we've had books with stickers to put on a scene each night; the Jesse Tree has an picture to print out and color and hang up as a mobile to go with each night's devotion).
We also finished getting all the gifts we needed to fill our shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child today. We started doing this last year so the boys could see that it's more important to give to those who have nothing than to fill up their toy bins with more toys. We hope to be able to add some service projects to our Christmas routine at some point.
We try to build traditions that focus on the season--why we, as a family, celebrate Advent and Christmas. We do "fun" stuff, too--taking pajama rides to look at Christmas lights is a favorite, and making cookies for our neighbors--but through them all we try and remind the kids of what why we do all this. We try not to celebrate mindlessly, but to have some intent in all we do.
So what are some of your family's traditions?