We Need A New Christmas Tradition

Dec 4, 2010

Traditions are very important, especially once you have children. You want to pass something down, have something to look forward to, give meaning to special events and holidays. Our Christmas traditions have evolved over the years, mostly as my faith has grown and matured. While I still struggle with certain aspects of celebrating Christmas, it was easy to let Santa "out of the bag" years ago. We read about the birth of Jesus every December and set up our Haba Navity blocks. I talk to my children about the real reason that we celebrate Christmas and try to minimize the focus on "the gimmies". {Which is exceptionally difficult because my mother is excessively generous, especially at Christmas.} But it is not nearly enough. 

I have not been consistent with more meaningful traditions, like advent or a Jesse tree to teach how Jesus fulfilled the prophecies and to create anticipation of Christ's coming or giving to others through charity or volunteering. It is too easy to let the busy-ness of the season and life, in general, to push us off course. We start with good intentions and then we lose track of the time and Christmas is upon us. But I am determined that this year will be different. It has to be. We need it to be. 

Our children are growing up in a culture that is working very hard to undo everything that we teach them. My seven year old wants to believe in Santa, something magical and mysterious. He sees it everywhere, television, catalogs, store displays. He has a longing for something but doesn't yet know what it is. My oldest is in the adolescent period, which naturally pulls his focus inward. Extra effort must be made to get him to reach out to others.

It's time for me to get serious about centering our Christmas traditions on Christ. If you have been reading blogs for even a short while, it is likely that you have come across Ann Voskamp's A Holy Experience. She has created A Jesus Advent Celebration: A Jesse Tree Journey and it is available as a free e-book just for subscribing to her blog. We are getting a late start with it but better late, than not at all. I look forward to starting this new tradition with my children. 

1 comment:

  1. Stopping by from "Helpful Homeschool Hints".

    I have not seen that link, but will go take a look. Advent devotions are something that grows over the years. I have found that working on one simple thing at time and adding each year to that works best. Sadly, when my adult children were little, I did not know of many of these devotional treasures.


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