Family Bytes

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Let Your Christmas Traditions Die

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go! How does that make you feel?! Excited? Anxious? Sad? A little sick to your stomach? Maybe all four emotions hit you like waves crashing onto the shore, one right after the other?

The holidays are overwhelming. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if we will ever escape this reality? However, there is something we can focus on that will help us look forward to this time of year…every year. 

What am I talking about? Family traditions, of course!

Traditions are customs or rituals passed down from generation to generation. They are not only fun, but essential in developing a healthy family and they help to ensure you will have a Merry Christmas. Here’s why…

"Traditions are not only fun, but essential in developing a healthy family."

Holidays … Holy Days

Holiday is derived from an Old English word, which means “holy” day, a day “set apart” for a divine purpose. The tradition of gift giving on Christmas day reflects how God gave us the perfect Gift when Jesus was born.

Christmas serves another divine purpose for us. As a time we set aside to connect, reflect, it helps us appreciate those we love, those imperfect, yet still very special, blessings God has given each of us. Traditions accentuate or highlight these blessings and make them memorable.

Gifts Have An Expiration Date

We are all feverishly looking for the “perfect gift” for the special people in our lives.    The present that will bring endless joy, that will be spoken of for years to come and remembered by all. 

Reality check: that gift does not exist. Clothes go out of style, technology quickly becomes obsolete and tastes change. 

Traditions, on the other hand, are timeless.

Say you have the “tradition” of receiving the dreaded sock/underwear combo in your stocking every year. If I took a poll asking, “Would you prefer getting socks or the new Apple Watch for Christmas?” I’m pretty sure I know which would win!

However, these “gift traditions” can actually grow and develop as your family does, serving a purpose during the holidays. It starts as socks with your kids favorite cartoon character then moves to silly Santa socks that everyone takes a picture in each year and then you adapt the tradition as those kids become adults and have kids of their own. It can be fun, almost a running joke … I wonder what kind of socks I’m getting this year?

Traditions Tell A Story

I know a family who makes an incredible breakfast casserole Christmas morning.  My friend’s wife brought this tradition from her side of the family and the entire family participates in making the meal. It is an exercise in patience as mom gathers family and coordinates who is helping with what task. Once organizing is finished, the stories begin. 

Mom: “This dish my grandmother and I would make every Christmas morning.”

Kids: “What was your grandmother like?”

Mom then answers and Dad goes on to share the times he first had the breakfast casserole, eventually leading to the annual story of how mom and dad met, fell in love and got married.

The breakfast casserole represents a story. The story becomes a reminder of God’s goodness to us - making this season Holy and set apart as it strengthens the family.

"...tradition becomes a reminder of God’s goodness to us - making this season Holy and set apart as it strengthens the family."

What family traditions do you have, need to create or resurrect? 

We want to hear them! Share in the comment section or on our Facebook page.


Posted by Freddie Albaugh at 5:00 AM
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