I think traditions are really important--all throughout the year. Christmas traditions are especially important. Over the years we have done lots and lots of different things. I have probably tried to do too many things. This year we got to the point where with our kids in high school and playing basketball we just did not have the time to do all we had done in the past. The things became a burden more than a pleasure. So this year I really tried to simplify what we did as a family for our traditions.
This is our Christmas candle Ben's dad makes for us, and this is a simple, easy tradition we treasure. We burn it each night at dinner to count down to Christmas. Easy, simple and meaningful. My amazing father-in-law melts crayon and uses that to write the numbers on the candle.
When I knew I would be simplifying this year, I asked my family what they wanted to keep--what did they enjoy and love about Christmas and what we had done in the past. Overwhelmingly they all said they loved reading Christmas books each night by the tree--even though I have a 17, 15, 13 and 10 year old, they wanted to read those Christmas picture books. Some years I have wrapped them and numbered them. Other years I have just put them in a basket and let the kids choose them. This year Mr J my 10 year old asked if I could please wrap them. So, I wrapped them, but I didn't number them. so each night the kids take turns picking a book to unwrap and read that night. It has been nice after the crazy busy days we have had to sit together and read a Christmas story.
We always read scriptures every night together as a family. We usually read from The Book of Mormon and on Sundays we read from the Bible. In December I try to find some sort of scripture advent that focuses just on Christ. This is the one we are doing this year. It has a picture to go along with each story from the Latter-day Saints Gospel art kit. The verses are short and that is good on crazy busy December nights because we also unwrap and ready our Christmas book at the same time. Starting with the 12 days till Christmas I am going to switch to another daily scripture chart. I will share that Sunday.
Sometimes we have these great expectations and grand plans. That is totally me. Then reality hits and I get disappointed that I can't do the grand things I had planned. I think it helps when we can really look at our time, family, and circumstances and say, "We can we do? What do we value and want to do?" and then plan accordingly. Maybe it means dropping things, but that is ok. The point is you enjoy the season with your family and focus on what is really important that a Savior was born for us! #ASaviorIsBorn
Enjoy this Christmas season!