Take a moment and think about a favorite childhood Christmas memory. What did it involve? Was it all about opening the bright, festive and neatly wrapped Christmas presents (unless dad did the wrapping)? Was it all about the Christmas stocking filled with tasty goodies and miniature toys of all kinds? Was it all about the vast array of cookies representing the various shapes of Christmas? Or was it all about listening to dad or mom retelling the story of the nativity and the blessed birth of Jesus?
Whatever your favorite memory may be, it probably revolves around the place you called home and the people you called family. What better place to be or with what better people to be with during the Yuletide season.
Have you ever spent a Christmas away from home? Have you ever had to celebrate the birth of Christ apart from your loved ones? Have you ever been lonely at Christmas?
Soldiers overseas will be spending Christmas away from home. College students who cannot afford the airfare will be spending Christmas away from home. Business people who get stranded at airports will be spending Christmas away from home. Missionaries in far-away places will be spending Christmas away from home. People who have moved to distant places will be spending Christmas away from home.
For most people who have had a positive home life experience, their favorite memories normally revolve around the home. At the heart of most Christmas traditions is the home. At the center of most Christmas interactions is the family.
One of the things we can do as parents is to build Christmas memories and traditions for our children.
Here are some of the traditions we built for our family.
We always went to see Christmas lights while listening to Christmas music. We had the children open the windows of an Advent Calendar. We lit Advent Candles. We attended the Christmas Eve Service at Church. We opened one gift on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas morning, we would read the Christmas Story from the Bible, light the Christ Candle, sing Christmas Carols, pray for the people who gave us gifts and opened our presents. We would then sit and have a traditional breakfast of Christmas omelets prepared by dad.
We all looked forward to our family traditions, which built memories in the lives of our kids.
As Mary reviewed in her mind the events of the first Christmas, she “treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:19. Mary was building memories that revolved around her own family.
My hope and prayer is that each family will begin to build a legacy of memories and traditions that will serve as a blessing for years to come.
Something to think about…