Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Holiday Tradition Ideas

I have been doing some research in my attempt to begin some new Christmas traditions this year for Dan, Jackson and I (like I talked about here) and here are some of the ideas I have come across so far... next up is to finish a little more searching and then deciding on which we are going to do! I'm getting VERY excited for Christmas!

1. Make a Birthday Cake for Jesus & sing Happy Birthday to Him & then eat it while we read The Christmas story from The Bible

2. Combine the tradition of an Advent Calendar & our love for books by reading a Holiday Story Every Night- I saw the example here:

3. Surprise a Servant: It may shock your kids (and you!) to learn that not everyone gets to take time off around the holidays. Firefighters, police officers, EMS, Doctors, Nurses and many other servants give up their holidays to make sure that ours are safe and happy. Give back something to all these good-hearted folks by gathering holiday cookies and other treats to surprise them on Christmas Eve. 
4. This one is for New Year's Eve... it is the idea of an elaborate treasure hunt ending when the kids discover a chest full of glittering hats and noisemakers just in time for the count down at midnight (or maybe bed time if you want to savor midnight with the adults!).

5. Holiday Decoration Day the day after Thanksgiving. This one Dan and I have already been doing since getting married. The day after Thanksgiving has always been our day to hang out at home and put up the Christmas Tree and other decorations. Although Dan is semi-cheating this year and has already started putting up the lights outside (he's trying to take advantage of the abnormally warm weather). 

6. Sharing Gratitude: Bring your blessings to life by asking each family member to bring to the Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner table an item that symbolizes one thing they are most grateful for from the past year. If you do this at Thanksgiving you can then display those symbols throughout the season or sit down as a family and write out a gratitude list and frame it and display throughout the holidays or all year long. 

7. Each year add each family member's handprints or notes to a keepsake tablecloth or to the Christmas tree skirt. 

8. Get new PJ's on Christmas Eve

9. Tuck heartfelt notes or letters into each kid's stocking instead of gifts. 

10. Play Santa for Soldiers, Adpot families in need, adopt elderly, etc. We have been adopting families through The Salvation Army for a few years now. I think maybe we'll take it up a level this year and make it more of an event to shop together for the gifts and then have a wrapping party together. 

11. Cheers for a Great Year: Create a Year in Review list, recording the year's activities from A to Z. As a family, decide what event or memory represents "a", "b" (baby Jackson) and so on. You could even make it a year-long activity by writing down special events and "momentous moments" on pieces of paper to stick in a "memory jar" that sits in your home year-round. Then on New Year's Eve read the papers aloud and save in an album. 

12. Have a family sleepover in the living room on Christmas Eve or New Years Eve

13. Put on the holiday bedding

14. Each child gets 3 gifts- something to read, something to play with & something to grow with (a learning toy/item). Another way is 4 gifts: Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. Or you could base it around the 3 gifts Jesus received: Gold - G is for garment (some type of clothing), Frankincense - F is for fun (some toy or game the child really wants) and Myrrh - M is for mind (an educational gift - book, magazine subscription, trip to a museum, etc.). 

15. Give God one very special gift just from you to him: let this be something personal that is between just you and Him. Something that is a sacrifice -David said in 2 Samuel 24 that he would not offer a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing. Maybe your gift to God will be to forgive someoneyou've needed to forgive for a long time. You may discover that you've given a gift back to yourself. This idea that I came across spoke of Corrie Ten Boom, a Christian who survived extreme brutality in a German concentration camp after rescuing many Jews from certain death during the Nazi Holocaust, was later able to say, "Forgiveness is to set a prisoner free, and to realize the prisoner was you." Perhaps your gift will be to commit to spending time with God daily. Or maybe there is something God has asked you to give up. Make this your most important gift of the season.


  1. I love #1. My aunt has a special recipe that she ONLY uses for Jesus' birthday cake - it makes it all the more special!

    Holiday decoration (and shopping!) day and the new PJs are traditions my family has done as long as I can remember. My dad does the opposite of Dan - I swear he seems to wait for the coldest day to decorate the outside!

  2. We do #1 & #3 with my entire family... my nephew LOVES singing Happy Birthday to Jesus!


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