It takes hands to build a house, but only hearts can build a home.

Author Unknown

Monday, December 22, 2008

Chapter 12, Page 22, Book 08

Traditions add so much joy to the holidays. Traditions give a child a sense of belonging and identity. They strengthen bonds across generations and live long in memory.
A family rich in traditions has a powerful antidote to commercialism. The more focused you are on pleasures that cost little or nothing, the more all the gifts tend to stay in their appropriate place.
Best of all, many traditions are perfectly suited to today's busy families. Here are a few favorites

Light candles at dinnertime.
If December mornings are dark where you live, light candles at breakfast, too.
At my house the candles on the the Advent Wreath are lit
Take an evening stroll or car ride to look at Christmas lights.
Serve warm chocolate with candy canes for stirring
Our Christmas traditions help us to reclaim those parts of ourselves
and make them a part of who we are as adults--if we let them


I know that when my children were growing up we did a lot of fun things at Christmas time, but now they have their own families and new ideas for ways to celebrate.

I found this article in FAMILY LIFE that had some good suggestions for those that are trying to establish family traditions of their own.

Every family is truly unique. What we do will not apply in every situation, but we've learned some principles that can help you negotiate the challenge of managing holidays

Be flexible. Perhaps occasionally, you will celebrate your family's Christmas a day or more early

Be brief. A short visit that ends on a positive note is better than a long stay that rubs someone the wrong way.

Be firm. Don't let nostalgia, the holiday spirit, or guilt-inducing comments sway you from doing what's right for your family

Be kind. Parents need children to be compassionate to them too.

Keep Christ central. Make Christ the focus of your holidays

Confront your memories. Holiday memories generally come in two varieties—good and bad. Both types can wreak havoc with your appreciation for Christmas's real meaning. If you have good memories, your expectations may rise so high that you end up disappointed with the state of your current experience. If your memories are bad, almost everything that happens around Christmas will renew your pain. Either way, it's better to deal honestly, openly, and prayerfully with your expectations about Christmas ahead of time

Set and keep a budget. Too many people get carried away with spending around Christmas. It often starts with a sincere desire to make children happy and then gets out of hand. Exchange gifts on a preplanned budget

Keep it simple. Christmas traditions don't have to be elaborate, and you don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the season sincerely. Ultimately, love is all that is necessary

These are just a few ideas. The ones you come up with for your family will be better

Sometimes the traditions are handed down family to family, sometimes they are ones we make for ourselves, but all in all it is important to have them as they give us many happy memories in the years to come.

Christmas is more than one day in the year. I prepared for a month and will enjoy the memories for years to come.


Fail not to call to mind, in the course

of the twenty-fifth of this month, that

the Divinest Heart that ever walked the

earth was born on that day; and then smile

and enjoy yourselves for the rest of it; for

mirth is also of Heaven's making.

Leigh Hunt

'On Ya' - ma


Jan said...

Great ideas ..I was telling Maurice about the paper chain idea ,he loved it ..Blessings dear friend Jan xx

Hollie said...

I love the simple traditions. We get out & ride around a lot at night looking at Christmas lights. We also enjoy going to places like Noccalula Falls at Christmas to see the lights & it doesn't cost a fortune to do that. Oh, it's soooo cold here this morning.... Brrrr
Have good day!

Jeannette said...

Lovely as always Pam. Hugs

Anonymous said...

as usual...each day you jumpstart my day with your thoughts and poems and I do appreciate your is very very cold here this morning...but I am sure that at some time today granddaughter is going to asked if we can go to the mall...and I shudder to think of the traffic...the crowds..but the shine and smile on her face will make it all good...LOL..only a granny will feel that way...right??? Merry Christmas...hugs from Ora in KY

Cindi said...

simple is best, I like changing it up a bit too!!!

betty said...

so true that traditions are so important to have; they may be silly ones but they help define a family and its also fun to bring those traditions into your marriage along with your spouse's traditions and incorporate some of them as well as making your own with your own kids; I enjoy the things we've done as traditions over the years and now that we are empty nesters (sort of), we're looking to start a new set of traditions to go along with ones from the past; great entry!


Chrissie a.k.a. HoneyB said...

This was another great entry. I love to come here and read what you suggest.
I know this will be a hard Christmas for your family, but I hope and wish you all many blessings and peace in the coming year.
Take care, Chrissie