Every family has their own special holiday traditions and beliefs, and we are no exception. I wanted to share five ways we keep our Christmas weird (or really, just not up to current societal norms :).
1. We don't do the red guy in the suit... Anymore. I alluded to this when sharing our Kindness Elves tradition, but we began our parenting journey as non-believers, so it never dawned on us that there was any way other than Santa. As we became believers and grew in our faith, we began to question what seemed like a harmless tradition. Two years ago, the Lord placed on our hearts that it was time to let this go and let our girls in on the secret. My oldest kind of knew and was OK, and our youngest was none-to-thrilled, but we felt very convicted about it.
Ever had your child ask if Santa is real? And the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy?... THEN ask if Jesus is real? We don't want our Lord and Savior filed away in that same "invisible, magical guy who does nice stuff but one day I'll find out doesn't exist" folder in their heads. Daxton will grow up having fun with the idea of Santa but knowing from the get go that he is just a pretend, fun tradition.
2. We limit our gifts. Not to be all scroogey- but enough with stuff! We believe it's more blessed to give than to receive, and we purpose to embed that truth into our children. So, we do our Kindness Elves and we choose, as a family, some things from the Compassion catalog . We also adopt a few local families that might not have Christmas otherwise.
For our girls, we do four basic gifts... Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. In doing this, they basically know what they're getting for Christmas without question. Which sounds like a total drag... but I've found that they really, really anticipate that thing and are really elated to finally get it Christmas morning!
But I love a good surprise anyway- so Hubs and I each pick them out one complete surprise gift as well. And we do still pretend to be Santa... Milk and cookies and all (gluten free dairy free, of course :).
3. Traditions. We've established some really fun traditions we all enjoy and look forward to each year. The Elves have been around a few years now, and they have a few repeats each year like making cookies for daddy on the first day they visit, having a family movie night, having a game night with hot chocolate, etc. They always bring pajamas on Christmas Eve, too. We go visit our extended families all day on Christmas Eve, and then we stay at home- eating leftover party food and playing with our gifts all day on Christmas. And I try to fix something special for Christmas breakfast like gluten free, dairy free cinnamon rolls. Since we began staying at home on Christmas Day, we have all started looking forward to it a bit more... less rush and travel, more rest and blessings.
4. We keep our Christmas decor all minimalist. OR I'm just lazy. There's actually 3 good reasons we choose to keep this super simple, and I've already shared that over here.
5. We focus on Christ. This should maybe be first... but its also the last. We walk through our advent season reading Ann Voskamp's Unwrapping The Greatest Gift and really focusing on the heart of the matter. It's precious to do this year after year, as our girls grow, because we see them taking in more and more truth each year.
Christmas is, for us, about turning in... To our hearts, to our home, to Him and resting in all of that goodness. It's about anticipating His coming so we can further anticipate His final coming. It's about tidings of comfort and joy.... About the gift of perfect peace and incredible grace that blesses us every day of the year. It's about taking stock and giving thanks with more than our words, but with our hands instead.
That's Christmas our way. What does your family do to make this time of year truly special?
Love learning about how others are celebrating with their families this holiday season? Check out these awesome blogs!
Sara Lafountain http://cookwith5kids.com
Katie Mullis Crenshaw http://twelveandsix.com
Clarissa Laskey http://www.clarissaexplainsitall.net
Marcia Denise http://www.ciasays.com
Gillian Nicholl http://www.indulgingmum.com
Lauren Shoffner http://crunchandchill.com
Elizabeth Edgar http://mommygonetropical.com
Elanor Brammer http://tiggypoesandflutterbys.blogspot.co.uk
Jennifer Crowther http://www.jennyscrayoncollection.blogspot.co.uk
Kate Walton http://www.akreativewhim.com
Marilyn Arriaga http://www.tiltamom.com
Cindylynn Calzone http://hometownqueenbee.blogspot.co.uk/…/what-will-our-chil…
Courtnee Garr Frimming http://www.ohmyheartblog.com
Kam Kay http://www.thewomentalk.com
Kelley Farrell Ferreira http://www.chicagonow.com/canny-nanny
Samantha Lamb http://mommawantsjava.com
Chanel Cumberbatch http://www.crunchychronicles.com
Rachel Newcombe http://smartmomsmartideas.com
Karen Marie Patten https://www.facebook.com/spoilmyfamily/?pnref=lhc
Brittany Lass Schwan http://www.beckyandbrittany.com
Rebecca West http://www.craftcreatecalm.com
Esther Steinfield Freedman http://blog.cuteheads.com
Kimberley Mazzarolo http://talesfromthecrib.ca
Liz Jean http://www.cheekydays.com
Julie McCorkle http://julesandco.net
Shannon Hughes Gauger http://dailymomtivity.com
Kristen Marie http://gentleparentingwny.com
Janella Panchamsingh http://www.mabellevie.ca
Kim Robertson http://1200milesaway.com
Lynzy Carey Coughlin http://www.sparklingfootsteps.com
Jannel Alisha http://thevanessachronicles.com
Jennifer Vleira McCullar http://lifewith3boys1girl.com