Another Christmas here and gone, with another year just around the corner. As time flies by our memories accompany us in its rush to the end. Are you building memories for your children that will last a lifetime? Some of the strongest ones your children will carry with them are those that become a family tradition. Those memories will outlast any of the toys, games and other material possessions you might buy them. Start with the New Year to create your family traditions.
Here’s a few we’ve done or others have shared with us:
When we lived in Wyoming we didn’t have a lot of money and, even if we did, there weren’t many stores. Therefore, many of the presents we gave our children were handmade by their father or me. I would sew pajamas or make stuffed toys for them, he would build cradles for the girls or wooden guns for the boys. They loved them.
In an effort to keep “Christ” in Christmas, we held a birthday party for Jesus on Christmas Eve. We always told the story of the first Christmas and sang Christmas Carols. Then we ended the evening singing Happy Birthday to Jesus around a birthday cake complete with candles.
I remember one Christmas the children presented us with a live production of the Christmas story with all of them participating, right down to the very youngest. Now THAT was a wonderful Christmas memory!
A friend who had lived in Germany when her children were young told me how they adopted the German tradition of putting their shoes on the outside step for St. Nicholas to fill with candy. After moving back to the states, they continued the tradition. To this day, her children do this for their children.
Another friend told me how their Christmas Eve tradition was to sing Christmas Carols at the local nursing home. Not only did it teach their children compassion for others, but also drew them closer together as a family.
What are your traditions? If you haven’t yet created any, start now. Make this your year for creating family traditions that will build memories that will last a lifetime, and perhaps for generations to come.