Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Traditions

Did you grow up with many Christmas traditions?

As a missionary kid I grew up in France, Germany, and California so our traditions were somewhat flexible depending on where we were and what family was around. My favorite tradition started when I was in middle school. My mom decided to put up two Christmas trees that year: a real one for the living room, with all of our special ornaments, and a fake tree in our basement/rec room with only candy canes and chocolate ornaments (which they sell very cheaply in Europe).

I can tell you that our chocolate tree was a hit! My mom would refill the tree as necessary all throughout December.

We're still trying to figure out our Christmas traditions with our two young boys. It's tricky and I feel some tension about it: on the one hand, I'd love to make the this holiday season one filled with childhood magic and wonder! On the other hand, I'm tired. More importantly, I'd like for this to be a Christ-filled time of giving and love and gratefulness. And yet it's so easy and natural to fall into the trap of wanting more and more... the kids love presents, and I love giving them presents!

Some traditions are downright controversial: does your family do Elf on the shelf? I've heard of an alternative elf tradition called Kindness Elves, which sounds more appealing to me.

Somehow, I'd like to keep our Christmas traditions simple, and both fun and meaningful, without wearing me down.

Any tips for me? What does your family do?

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