Wednesday, December 1, 2010

So...why all the traditions?

When Tim and I married long ago, I knew I wanted to have strong family traditions. I wanted to establish certain things we could do each year for certain celebrations, as well as, family time. Some we did when it was just the two of us-like the Tree of Thanksgiving-others we started when Ethan was born and we continue to add some each year.


Doesn't this add to your "to do list" you might ask. My answer would be "yes". But it is things that I love to do. I think it is very important! Family traditions are just that...FAMILY traditions. We have so many things in our lives that include others--church, sports, clubs, etc.. These are great things that I want to be involved in but I am very protective of our family times. Times when it is just us--growing and enjoying one another, hopefully strengthening our relationships.

I would recommend the book Celebrating the Christian Year by Martha Zimmerman. I love this book and the fact that she agrees with my view on family traditions doesn't hurt either! :)

"Jesus taught that the His Father's desire for us was not a religion but life. The best way to experience joy in that life is through meaningful relationships. How do relationships happen? What causes a relationship to grow? relationships grow as people experience things together. It is psychologically true in relationships that doing things for the one you love increases your love for that person. Observing family traditions is one way to demonstrate your love for the Lord. At the same time your actions are speaking volumes to your children, and all the while the love between you and them is growing."

I really think that having these special little things we do together creates a common bond between us. Especially the boys as they grow older. I have so enjoyed listening to the boys tell the girls about what we are going to do on this day or that--and just when I think "oh, maybe this year we'll skip that part" I hear the kids talking in anticipation about it. And I realize that it IS important to them. Their family and it's silly and serious traditions are important to them.

This morning the kids woke up to find our Christmas countdown thingy out. We open a door a day to find a note, verse, project, or candy inside.
Dec. 1st door opened to "Prepare a road for the Lord through the wilderness, clear a highway across the desert for our God...thus shall the Glory of the Lord be revealed" Isaiah 40:3,5

As we begin this season of Advent, I pray that you and your family will find special ways to "prepare a road for the Lord" in your busy schedules. December is full of traditions in our house, that I am happy to share. I would love to hear of any of your family traditions, as I am always open to more!

"Handwoven fabrics are special! Like babies and snowflakes, no two are ever exactly the same. Families are like tapestry. Many threads run through each piece. As you participate with the Lord in the weaving of your family, choose the threads carefully. Remember time helps to hold the fabric together."


  1. You may remember the "book on the bed" for Christmas. When the girls were younger we wrapped a book and put it on the end of the bed for them to find when they first woke up. It gives them time before all the other events and visiting of the day to really enjoy the book. We even started it with Joseph by putting an unwrapped board book in his crib last year when he was 1 1/2! Emily told us she woke up at 2 a.m. last year kicked the book and opened it up and started reading. (She did go back to sleep a bit later!) They get very excited each year to see what the "book of the year" is!

  2. Very neat! We get out our little people nativity set, all our special Christmas books, make ornaments at the pottery store, make cookies for neighbors. This year we are trying to focus more on the real reason for the season, so we be having a happy birthday Jesus cake on Christmas day.

  3. I love all the traditions...they are too you need to start before you have kiddos so you can perfect them by the time they remember right?!?!?! Merry Christmas!!

  4. I will be honest... traditions are hard at this house since we have no family nearby and we travel a lot. But you have me thinking that we need to do more. I LOVE Dawn Marie's idea... that is great!

  5. Do you know that book is $269 on Amazon for a new copy??!! I laughed out loud! I think used is a must, don't you??

  6. your last post really blessed me today, Thank you for sharing your heart for your family and christmas traditions!

  7. We're doing an Advent calendar and a Jesse tree this year - I'll post pictures on my blog later this week. It's nice to have something to do with the kids every morning, and it's going so well I hope to establish it as a tradition we do every year!