Guest Author - Terrie Lynn Bittner
Christmas is a wonderful time when the outside world can be kept and bay and you can focus on your family for a while. It's also a good time to remind your children of the spiritual purpose of the holiday. One way to do that is to create traditions, so that when they think of Christmas, they think first of the spiritual things your family always does, instead of the gifts. Following are several ideas for Christmas traditions:
1. Do one thing each day in December that relates to Christmas, and be certain at least some of them are spiritual. You might enjoy reading Madeleine L'Engle's book, Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas (Dell Young Yearling)
This book follows Vickie Austin as a child. Her family does something special for each day of Christmas, but the biggest something special (the early birth of her brother and a snowstorm that prevents her mother from going to a hospital for the birth) teaches her the true meaning of Christmas.
2. Set up your nativity scene a day at a time. Each year, I add one or more family home evening lessons on aspects of the nativity. Hold special family night lessons and each time, add a piece of the nativity referred to in that lesson. In between, add items not covered by lessons, or the additional pieces (such as additional shepherds and wise men.) As it's set up, talk about the birth of the Savior and what it meant to each person in the nativity scene and what it means to you.
3. Collect special Christmas books and keep them under your tree until the presents arrive. Read one each day.
4. Learn about Christmas traditions in other countries. Many countries have traditions that are much more focused on the Savior than we do. Consider adding those to your celebration.
5. Make homemade nativities to decorate your home and tree. Set a goal to create a certain number between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Give away some of them.
Traditions: Creating Memories to Draw Your Family Close