Do you have any favorite Christmas traditions? Doing some of the same things year after year adds that special sparkle to the fun and excitement! Besides the tree and the gifts and stringing lights across the front of the house, we have a few small traditions that make a big impact.
I love a small tradition…one that has a deep, personal meaning. The big ones are fun, but they are sometimes done so quickly that the purpose gets missed. But the little activities that are quiet and from one person to another help us slow down and create those long lasting memories.
Here are 5 small things we do every Christmas that make BIG impact.
- Gifts. Believe it or not we think of the gifts as a small part of our Christmas celebration. We only get each child one gift and they draw names with one another so that’s two gifts per person. That is very purposeful on our part. The gifts we receive are nothing compared with what Christ did for us and should be a shadow of (not overshadow) that gift.
- Bible reading. We spend a few minutes before the festivities begin on Christmas morning reading the story of Christ’s birth. It centers us all and reminds us about why we are celebrating and it’s not about us.
- Serving others. Doing something for someone else is the BEST way to celebrate Christmas! Look for small opportunities to help someone in need. Carry someone’s bags to their car or help put away their cart. Offer to put up the tree for an older person or help them wrap their gifts. Small services add up to big impact.
- Bake cookies. It’s so simple…just bake a few of your favorite cookie recipes and share them with neighbors, postal workers, delivery men, pastors, teachers, anyone who has served you over the year! We do this every year and I am often surprised to learn that we are the only people doing it for them. Let’s all show our appreciation and learn some humility in the process.
- Read together. We get a new book every Christmas and read it aloud as a family. Sometimes it’s a chapter book and sometimes it’s a child’s book. Then we write notes about what we thought on the inside covers. We put the Christmas book away with the holiday decorations and bring them out again with the tree and the mistletoe. There’s a big stack of them on the coffee table now representing years of family time. This year we added, Itsy Bitsy Christmas by Max Lucado. It’s a little book with a big heart.
Whatever you do to add small traditions to your family holiday, be sure you share with the kids why you do it. We explain to our kids that we read together so it will force us to slow down during the busy time and just be together. We make sure they understand that serving is a way to thank Jesus for what He has done for us.
Merry Christmas my friends! Enjoy every moment!
What small Christmas traditions have made the biggest impact on your family?