Sometimes in the Christmas Season, it is hard to stay focused on Christ. There is so much focus on gifts, toys, and Santa – that sometimes Jesus gets a little forgotten. Here are some simple traditions that bring back the real focus of this holiday. They are good for young families, old families, or even young couples. 🙂
A Humble Christmas Breakfast
I know sometimes it is tradition to have an extravagant Christmas breakfast, but you can save that for dinner. Christmas morning, “the morning of Christs birth” to focus attention on him we can think about how his parents ate. My mother started this tradition in our family when I was in middle school, and we all loved it. We thought about how maybe Mary and Joseph packed some little flatbreads and had some goat cheese (garlic and herb is my favorite). So that’s what we do – we buy (or make) a bunch of pita bread, get a variety of goat cheese, or even flavored cream cheese, and cut up some fruits or vegetables. We sit down at the coffee table on the floor, or even just on the carpet with a blanket laid out, and eat.
While sitting, we discuss how Mary and Joseph must have felt, how maybe the shepherds felt. We maybe read the Christmas story, or just talk about other “what ifs” about the Christmas story, imagining what it must have been like.
Acting out the Nativity
Another tradition from my family, before we would be allowed to open gifts, we would have to eat breakfast (above), and then act out the nativity. We would argue a little over who got to be Mary but always, in the end, my sweet sister with Down Syndrome would always get that part (she LOVES babies). We would take out all the extra sheets and big blankets, and get a tote with a little Cabbage Patch Doll inside (and blankets so she is comfy). My parents would read the story as we acted it out. Even though we grumble at the beginning for a while about having to wait longer to open presents, we always have a good time.
Singing Christmas Songs on Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve when all the presents are packed, everyone in their pajamas, cookies and a letter laid out for Santa – you dim the lights, everyone wraps up in blankets and snuggles up together on the couches. You can start off with the typical fun non-religious holiday songs, but then at the end sing the more religious, calm and peaceful ones. It is good at getting everyone calmed down for the night, and brings a special spirit into the home.
I saw this idea on Instagram the other day, and although they were selling it as a kit, I assume you could put it together yourself (it only requires a Nativity set and a cut out star (or if there is one that comes with the set and it is movable… that works too). Similar to how the Elf moves to different places/does different things every night – with this you have a nativity set and the star, and you move the star every night. The next morning, it is the kid’s goal to find the star where it is at in the home, and move the Three Wise Men to that spot. You can do this for the whole month of December. On Christmas morning, the star is placed above the rest of the Nativity set, and then the Wise Men finally get to meet Jesus. It is a great reminder for Children (and parents) of the journey those men had to take to see the Savior after he was born.
What traditions do you have in your family to focus on Christ in Christmas? I would love to hear them, and even add them to this list!
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