I was not raised with traditions. The closest thing I can think of that came close to be a “tradition” for Christmas when I was growing up was going to my maternal Grandmas house on Christmas Day. It wasn’t a tradition, more just something we did most years.
My husband, on the other hand, doesn’t recall a Christmas where he DIDN’T go to his maternal Grandparents house on Christmas Day. When we first got together, I went with him to his grand-parents’ house for Christmas, because again, I didn’t have any real traditions, and this was his way of showing me off to his family. We have gone to his Grandparents, (now just called Grandma’s house) for Christmas Day ever since.
I get the concept of ‘tradition’ now.
I understand the importance of the being together as a family, and the idea of sitting around a table to talk.
Our list of traditions for Christmas is getting longer and longer as the years go by, but that’s another post.
Today, I will talk about what I THINK is the most important tradition, the Countdown to Christmas that we have with our kiddos.
We read a book nightly starting on December 1st called “The Advent Jesse Tree” by Dean Lambert Smith.
Each one page devotional describes a moment that foretells of Christ’s birth. The coolest part of this book to me is the symbolism, with each passage and corresponding verse being represented by something. It’s a way to get to know the bible and the coming of Jesus’ birth, while decorating a Christmas tree with ornaments, something that my children enjoy immensely.
The prep work for this tradition for me personally begins the year before, while packing the Christmas items away, usually in January. The first year preparing for this tradition (now over three years ago) was the hardest, as I searched for pre-made ornaments that were described in the daily devotions.
The book has an adult study for each day as well as a children’s study. There are suggested songs to sing, which we don’t always do, but I have found that my youngest two children respond very well to the singing and learning new songs, especially our daughter.
The most fun thing for my children is the opening of the little gift during a part of the daily reading.
This year may be especially important to me to be around my kiddos, as my mother is in the hospital as I write this post. I want to keep traditions up. I want it to be memorable for them as they grow up.
You can buy this book on Amazon: The Advent Jesse Tree on Amazon.
My book review: Five Stars for ease of use, simplicity of the scriptures for both children and adults, and the content. I enjoy how the author ties every single day with Christ and the meaning of Jesus in each story, even when referencing the old testament and stories that appear to not have Christ directly in them.