Moms Dish Their Creative Christmas Traditions
Author: Lauren Fox
It can be difficult to explain to a little one why we celebrate Christmas with all these Christmas traditions. It’s full of lights, a baby Jesus, elves, a big old guy in red, candy canes, cookies, reindeer… it can be overwhelming for anyone, let alone a child. And some traditions may mean a little more to you than others. There are often traditions that have been passed down through generations or your favorites from when you were a child. Add to those, any new traditions that you’d like to make your own. There are simple traditions and those that can get complicated and overwhelming very fast.
Have no fear! Christmas is a time of joy, so we did the leg work for you! We scoured the web to find what moms were posting in common groups to see what they are actually doing this year or what they’ve done in the past. Maybe it will give you some inspiration or insight for your own family!
1. Who is Santa Claus?
Many parents are focusing more on on St. Nick’s legacy (you can read a little more up on him here) and the “real meaning behind the season”, Jesus’s birth, rather than getting too technical regarding how Santa is able to reach every house all over the world. (Although time zone changes do tend to help him out along with a little Christmas magic.)
Many moms choose to keep the focus on Christ with Santa as a fun tradition that remains in the mix in the same way that the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy help parents out from time to time.
Want to make the case FOR Santa even as a Christian? Two examples you will want to read up on: 1) this article from Keri Wyatt Kent on Christianity Today (note you’ll need to subscribe to read the whole thing!) and 2) Mom and author of Advent Alive: Bringing Advent to Life for Your Family Christine Coots says, “There’s nothing wrong with a few Santa pictures here or some elves there. But, we want our homes to overwhelmingly be filled with the true meaning of the season!” (Editors Note: Email Christine to purchase her Advent Alive $5 ebook . You will NOT be disappointed if you are looking for amazing Advent and Christmas ideas or traditions for your family!!)
2. Number of Gifts
Deciding whether to go all out for this special time or keep it simple with three gifts in honor of the Three Wisemen, this is another one that didn’t really have a major consensus. Each family is different, so think about what’s most important to you as well as the timing of gift giving.
Anonymous: “We go ALL out on Christmas because we are frugal throughout the year and especially the weeks leading up to Christmas. Think eating soups and rice and beans for a couple weeks to be able to feast on Christmas! It’s just something we chose to do to really celebrate and honor His special day.”
Kristina N.: “4 gift rule for us: want, need, wear, read/learn. Our parents (grandparents) are not required to follow this rule. Santa only does stocking stuffers and ONE gift. My mom loves all things Christmas, so Santa goes to her house and leaves one present. We do the stocking stuffers….”
Jessie S.F.: “3 gift rule. It’s really hard to keep because I really want to spoil them. But if 3 was enough for Jesus, it’s enough for my kiddos. I try to do something they need, want, and to read.”
3. Favorite Books
Books are always a great thing to have in the family, and sharing a love of reading with children early on is a great habit to establish. Plus, many of these “Mom-picks” teach valuable lessons when it’s hard for parents to come up with the right words.
Skylar C.: God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren
Kristina N.: “We have The Advent Book (Jack Stockman). It’s huge! And this will be the first year we read it since our son is 2.”
Jessie S.F.: “Any of The Berenstain Bears Christmas books like The Joy of Giving”
Lauren Lubambula: “Max Lucado has some of my absolute favorite children’s books. The Crippled Lamb is a Christmas story gem! But you must also get You Are Special as s favorite family book. Such a good one!!!!!”
Kaelyn P.: The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell
Bethany T.D.: “Mortimer’s Christmas is the sweetest story!!!”
Molly Jackson: “Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell (a board book) – a Christmas book with beautiful pictures…”
4. Other Fun Traditions to Borrow
There are COUNTLESS ways to make the holiday even brighter and merrier from sugar cookie decorating to decorating the house on the same day every year. Many moms like to stick to tradition versus trying new things each year. Yet, don’t count out travelling somewhere out-of-the-box to kick off the season either like in this Pop Sugar article, 15 Different and Fun Places to Spend the Holidays That Aren’t Disney.
Jessica Martin Gates: “I just bought this advent calendar (count down till Christmas) that adds a little piece of the nativity each day. On Christmas, you add baby Jesus 🙂. My daughter will be 17 months in Dec., but I figure we can still play with the pieces and talk about the story.”
Abigail Shaw: “Traditions for us growing up, we opened our stockings Christmas Eve and watched White Christmas. Christmas morning, we had to wait until everyone was out of bed and instead of finding our gifts we had to give others a gift first… We also followed along with Advent by reading the kids books Jotham’s Journey and the others in the series. The books are soooo good and I plan on reading them to my kids when they’re older and can follow along.”
Lauren S.: “We make a birthday cake for Jesus every year together. They love cake and birthdays, so they really get into it. We talk about how the reason for gifts is because it’s Jesus’s birthday and we are showing His love to others when we give them gifts.”
We hope this list makes you think of some fun traditions to start or keep doing with your family! If you are the type that would love to have a list on hand to print out and read through, may we recommend again Christine Coots’s Advent Alive: Bringing Advent to Life for Your Family ebook for literally just $5!! ( Email Christine to purchase the ebook.) It has so many fun Christian traditions from Advent Calendars with daily family activities instead of treats to adding hay for baby Jesus.