Making Christmas Personal for Your Family

In a group of ladies I have the privilege of spending time with weekly, we were talking about holiday traditions.  Some traditions will live on within a family, generation after generation.  There are times, however when starting a new tradition may be in order:  when there has been a loss in the family, a division due to divorce or separation, or even when a new family member has been added by way of birth, adoption, fostering, or a new marriage.

When my daughter was born, I decided that, while I love my families’ traditions, I wanted to make one of my own.  I really gave it some thought.  It has always been important to me as a Christian, to find ways to focus on the holiday for what it means to us Biblically, not just as the commercial holiday it has become over the centuries.  I decided that even as a baby, my daughter would understand the excitement that comes from celebrating a birthday, specifically Jesus Christ’s birthday, if we treated it like other birthdays.  We will make a cake!  We will light a few candles, sing “Happy Birthday”, and have cake on Christmas day to remind us of the true significance of the day.  Now, anyone that knows me can tell you that I am an amateur in the kitchen, especially where the oven is involved, so I am not above asking for help with the cake-baking process when my mom is around.  My daughter thoroughly enjoys picking out the cake mix and icing we will use, being part of the baking and frosting process, singing “Happy Birthday”, and especially the honor of blowing out the candles. This Christmas will be our sixth year to enjoy this tradition.

Last night, I was reading my daughter a new Christmas storybook her Grammy just purchased for her.  It was about the legend behind the candy cane:  a shepherd’s staff, the letter “J”, the red strips for blood, the white for redemption of sin all point back to the point of this beloved holiday. In the back of the fictional book was a short history on how the candy cane came to be part of the Christmas tradition.  I thought it was a great reminder of how simple it can be to take the modern ways that we celebrate Christmas now, and try to find some meaning behind them, pointing our children or even ourselves back to the true meaning of Christmas.  The gift of a Savior, the promises of the prophets fulfilled, the faith of a virgin, and the hope of nations delivered in the form of a baby boy-this is what we celebrate.

I challenge you to find a way this Christmas to create a new tradition with your family.  Or, take something as simple as a candy cane and use it to point your child to Jesus, by turning it upside down.  It’s all about perspective and families going through change can use a new one from time to time.

“Look!  The virgin will conceive a child!  She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).” Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 2:23

By:  Kristine Mize

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