Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Traditions

The Christmas season is upon us! Yikes! I have to admit that I love Christmas and the traditions that come along with it and want to create some special ones for my family. I know I posted about the Jesse Tree in the last post, but I have more ideas to share! I thought I would share with you some fun traditions that a dear friend has done with her family, from toddlers through adulthood. I look forward to seeing my kids grow and enjoy all our activities together!

Here is a list of some of the things that a dear friend (of whom I actually get to call Aunt!) gave us to spur our creative minds with our families!

1. Make a manger out of cut wood and twine and place it under the Christmas tree. During December we would have a sign that says John 3:16 written on it in the manger. Christmas morning put a doll wrapped up in the manger to represent Jesus being born.

2. Make a special "Christmas CD" that they would listen to during the month of December. Include the biblical Christmas story being read aloud for them to listen to.

3. Read the book Two from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes during the month of December.

4. Have a birthday party for Jesus with friends at some point in December. Make a craft, play pin the star over the manger, read the Christmas story and have cake of course and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

5. Save the Christmas tree after Christmas and cut off all the branches. Cut the trunk in 2/3 and 1/3 and make it into a cross. Save it and bring it back out at Easter to help make the connection between Jesus being born at Christmas and dying on the cross at Easter.

6. Keep Christmas cards received in a basket and pick one out at the dinner table and pray for them that night until all the cards are gone.

7. Give gifts to Jesus on His birthday. On Christmas Day set aside time to give your gifts to Jesus. Each person can think of something they want to change for the following year (maybe a character quality to work on, setting a goal of reading through the bible in one year, spending time each day in prayer, etc.) Write their "gift" on a piece of paper and wrap it in a small box and place it somewhere prominent to serve as a reminder.

8. Collect stories throughout the year and read as devotions during the month of December. You can read the best ones year after year or add new to your liking.

9. Read the story The Last Straw by Paula Palangi. After talk about how we have to get the manger ready for baby Jesus so he will have a very soft bed. Each time a child does or says something kind to someone else a new piece of straw can be added. Hopefully this encourages the children to keep doing nice things for each other so by Christmas day the manger has LOTS of straw!

Here is mine :)

At our mom's group our leader brought all the supplies so we could make little mangers. My girls have already started trying to make the manger soft (its been a slow go at it!)

10. Create an advent calendar with scripture or service ideas in it for each day. This is the first year that I had made my own advent calendar and I was able to have a little helper in my oldest daughter! I found an old cabinet door at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore and spray painted it white. Then I spray painted some clothes pins red. I hot glued those on to the door and suddenly I had 24 little clips ready for bags. Here is what it turned out like...

I ordered these muslin bags for $.13 each (Score!) and then cut out the numbers from fabric. I printed off numbers in word used those as the pattern and used interfacing to adhere them to the bags. I liked the red fabric much better and might change the green numbers to red next year, yes I am crazy!!

Merry Christmas to all and I hope this gives you some ideas to enjoy your family and the birth of Jesus this Christmas season.

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