Do you have a family Christmas tradition?
We had a tradition, but it was not the norm. Our family always struggled financially. Growing up we lived on hand-me-down clothes and powdered eggs. But we saved and saved to be able to make candy for our family and friends at Christmas.
As a child, I remember weeks on end of washing chocolate molds. If I closed my eyes right now I could almost smell the warm gingerbread coming out of the oven (I still love Gingerbread houses – check out these beautiful ideas from Shari’s Berries if that is your Christmas Tradition!).
Even after I grew up and moved away, I still came back to mom’s kitchen (The Candy Shop) a couple of weekends in December. We played Christmas music and laughed for hours soaking in the love and joy of the season.
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I had to let go of the old traditions, but God is amazing…
Trial and Error to Find New Traditions
Hubby and I have tried a lot of things to find some Tradition that would fit our family. It’s been hard because to be a Stay At Home Mom requires a lot of Financial Sacrifices. To live this frugal lifestyle means we just can not buy gifts for our loved ones.
We tried re-creating The Candy Shop from my past which was just a disaster. My mom just added something special to make that a wonderful time… probably herself. Then Little Blessing #2 came along with a bazillion food allergies. Ug… We had to scratch that Tradition.
It’s Okay to say “That Didn’t work” and try something else 😉
Homeschool Inspired the Tradition that lasted
When we began Homeschooling I found My Oldest Little Blessing has a love of crafts. I find myself spending hours on Pinterest to keep up with her hobby – because I am not naturally crafty. But I found that other Homeschool moms were crafty and someone mentioned making crafts as gifts.
We’ve done plaster footprints, cinnamon ornaments (I still love that one) and handprint calendars. Each year we pick something from our curriculum that the kids loved making and we make it for our family, friends, and neighbors.
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Random Acts of Kindness is my Favorite Holiday Tradition
The idea to include our Neighbors in the list came almost at the beginning because we wanted our kids to think beyond themselves. We live in an elderly community and our neighbors rarely see family -even this time of year.
While our kids think of making gifts for their best friends or favorite relatives we talk about the True Meaning of Christmas. This is the very intentional conversation we have every year.
Mom: Why do we celebrate Christmas?
Child: Because we love presents.
Mom: Why do we give gifts?
Child: Because it’s Jesus birthday.
Mom: Why don’t we give gifts to Jesus?
Child: Jesus has everything. How would we give Him a gift?
Mom: You have something Jesus wants. What is it?
Child: (Rolling her eyes because we’ve had this conversation so many times) My Heart.
Mom: Have you given Him your heart?
Child: (Still rolling her eyes) Like take it out of my chest? Grosse Mom!
Mom: Have you asked Jesus to be the boss of your life and promised to live life His way?
Child: Yes. What does that have to do with Christmas?
Mom: So why do we give gifts?
Child: To celebrate Jesus birth -because He is the gift God gave to us.
We then talk about how Jesus came to save everyone. This has to be an intentional conversation!
How the Bible talks about Jesus coming to love those that the world doesn’t love well.
Mom: So it’s good that we give gifts to our loved ones, but we should also give gifts to those the world forgets. Jesus loves them too. We show them God’s love when we love them.
We have such a similar conversation every year and throughout the year. It is important to be consistent as we teach the true meaning of Christmas.
(This is something we are trying 2018)
And so we make a big deal out of creating gifts for our neighbors. I pray it is a witness to them. The First Year we delivered the gifts they were confused… this is not normal behavior.
We got to meet a couple of them for the first time. Now we know all of our neighbors’ names and some things about them. We can pray for them, speak to them and call them by name when we see them.
I can’t wait to share some of the Fun, Fast and Frugal Christmas Gift Ideas we’ve tried and loved this month!
Does your Family have A Christmas Tradition? Comment below to share it with us! We are always looking for things to add to ours.