This time of year there is much talk of tradition:
Our family has some Christmas traditions – some with important meaning and some just because they are fun and create good memories. Here are a few of them:
Gingerbread & sugar cookies:
Every year we make and decorate gingerbread and sugar cookies. We use the recipes that my Grandmother used when I was a child and we would do this every year at her house. It is something that we all enjoy and remember. They're fun to make, fun to decorate, fun to eat and fun to give away. Click here for a recipe for Gingerbread.
Ornaments and wreaths:
Each year we also take time together to make ornaments for our tree or wreaths for our home. This is a tradition passed down from my Grandmother as well. I used to spend hours at her house prior to and during the holidays, crafting handmade ornaments. Now, doing it with my kids, I realize what great patience she had. One year we made cotton ball wreaths by gluing cotton balls to a cardboard circle and decorating with things we could find around our house.
This year we also tried making dried orange wreaths. Get the instructions here. The wreaths are not simply decorations, they are also reminders of the crown of thorns that our Savior wore for us and that God's love, like a circular wreath, has no beginning and no ending.
We live in a part of the world where the houses do not need fireplaces to keep them warm in the winter. Our house, like all the other houses around us, doesn't have one, so it has become our tradition to create a fireplace each year to make our home a little cozier and to give us a place to hang our stockings. Find a stocking pattern here. Our rule is that the stocking can be opened whenever you want on Christmas morning, but gifts must wait for a special time.
Every December 25, we have cinnamon rolls for breakfast, because after all, Christ is the Bread of Life, and his Word is sweeter than honey. What better breakfast could there be on the day we celebrate Christ's birth? This year we plan to make several batches ahead of time to take to our neighbors along with Gospel tracts and an invitation to our church. Get the recipe here.
Once we have finished breakfast, brushed our teeth, dressed for the day, etc. then we sit down together near the tree to sing Christmas hymns and listen to the story of Jesus' birth read by Daddy, (or Grandpa, if he is visiting this year). Generally we read the story as Luke tells it in Luke chapter 2 from the Bible. We thank the Lord in prayer for sending Christ so many years ago in order that we might have the gift of forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. Then in remembrance of that greatest gift we exchange gifts with one another.
What are your Christmas traditions? What significance do they add to your holidays?