Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Season - Pre-peak... :)

Merry Christmas, friends!

I have written several times in past years about our family's Christmas traditions on my other blog, but never here. So I decided to write a very brief one here. We are about to start the 12 days of Christmas as a family and I'm really excited about that! :D Perhaps I will write more about what we do after we do it; but for now here is a quick post about some of the things we typically do at Christmas time...

Our family has the same tradition a lot of other families have of giving a gift to Christ for Christmas (it is, after all, His birthday we are celebrating! :) This gift is one of setting a goal to repent or improve in some way - and I LOVE it!  (Setting goals excites me! :D)
I just read about one family placing their gifts to Christ in a large white stocking. They enjoy looking through the stocking to reminisce over what they have done and the progress they have made. I think that is a pretty neat idea. :)

The "how" has been less traditional for us. The first few years we did this, we actually wrapped our gifts in small boxes, then opened them the following year to see if we remembered and followed through. But it made more sense to store our gift in a way that we could see, remember, and be sure to follow through; so we switched to writing our gift on a 3X5 card with a small bow and a couple Christmas symbols stamped on it; that way the gift could be placed in a journal or book or anywhere a person wanted to keep it for quick reference. I thought of scrap booking the notes, but wanted everyone to be free to set personal goals if they want to, so we ended up keeping them individually and privately.
Other favorite Christmas traditions of mine include caroling and visiting in nursing homes. We also bake a variety of cookies together to spread a little more holiday cheer as we carol. The goal is to keep our traditions and activities Christ centered by doing services Christ would have us do. And of course, we also read a lot about the birth, life, and teachings of Jesus during this time. I love to read the Sermon on the Mount around Christmas time each year as well as reading about his birth and resurrection. Having a family gospel study about the Atonement of Jesus Christ is also a must...

Fun traditions that build family ties and memories are also a must, and Christmas break is a great time for a little more family fun than usual. These include things like sledding on Cherry Hill, watching Christmas movies, driving together to look at Christmas lights then coming home and sipping hot chocolate while reading a good Christmas story. We also enjoy walking the docks together and seeing the lights on the lake. When the kids were young we once took a night cruise to see the "North Pole" (lighted up Santa's workshop on a lake). Another favorite of mine is writing letters to family and friends; those bonds are important too!

The important thing to me is to focus on loving and serving as Christ does and strengthening family bonds of love. :) Now that we have a working vehicle and our family is all together again (a son is returning home from visiting friends) - I'm so excited about Christmas time! :D
I hope this Christmas season finds you filled with love, service, family and the Joy of Christ!
Corine :D

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