Posted by: amyedwards | January 1, 2010

Christmas Traditions

I love tradition!  When I was growing up, my family had several Christmas traditions.  Because I enjoyed them so much, I decided to continue them in my family.  But the fun of having your own family is starting new traditions.  And maybe, just maybe, your children will decide to continue them on when they have families of their own (and add a few of their own).

But one thing I’ve learned in the last few years is that some times traditions can be a pain in the neck!  You know, when you can’t pull it off, for one reason or another, but everyone wants to scream, “But, it’s tradition!”  UGH!!!  Life is hard enough to simplify, but even harder in the month of December.  Some times you just can’t do it all!  And some times, that means certain traditions just won’t happen that go around.  But it doesn’t mean next year it won’t be a go!

These are some traditions our family enjoyed (at least this year, anyway):

A couple of years ago we started putting Christmas cards we received in a stack in the middle of our kitchen table.  Each night at dinner time, the kids pick a card from the stack and we pray for that family.  We thank God for their friendship and ask Him to bless their Christmas and the year ahead.  Once that family has been prayed for, we tape their card to the window behind our table so that a new family is picked each night.  It’s so sweet to hear my children pray for their friends and family!

When I was a child, we were always allowed to open one present on Christmas Eve.  This was not one of those traditions I was particularly fond of then.  Why?  Because I was always disappointed when year after year the gift was always Christmas pajamas.  What a let down.  But I suffered through it, so now my children do too!  It makes for great pictures on Christmas morning!  After Grammie passed away, we started opening presents with Poppy at his house on Christmas Eve.  This year, we mixed up our pajama tradition and decided to wear pajamas to Poppy’s house and open our presents in them.  Even Poppy wore pajamas!!!  The kids had a great time and it put us one step closer to bedtime.

Another tradition I had as a child was that all of the kids would sleep in one room on Christmas Eve.  This is one of my favorite memories.  We would have such a hard time falling asleep as we all anticipated Santa’s arrival.  As the years passed, you could always tell which kids had been enlightened to the “truth” and which ones hadn’t by how quickly we would go to sleep.  My kids all sleep together now in my room.  It’s so sweet to hear their conversations before they sleep as they anticipate the next morning!

I’m not sure this is “tradition”, but one of the things we established early on is that we do not do any family get-togethers or go anywhere on Christmas day!  We reserve this time for our family.  It gives us a good time to rest and relax and enjoy the day together.  Anyone and everyone is welcome to come to our home and see what the kids got and we always fix a big breakfast for anyone who joins us.  We spend the rest of our day playing with the kids’ toys.  By the time dinner time rolls around, we’re usually ready to get out of the house, so we head to the Waffle House.  It’s a fun-filled day and we appreciate the fact that our families have been so accommodating to hold our get-togethers on days other than Christmas day.

A tradition I would like to start next year within my own family is something me and my sisters do now.  We started a couple of years ago giving a “used” gift to each other.  We draw names and we give something of our own to the person whose name we drew.  I didn’t think about doing it with my children until Christmas had passed this year, but I think we’ll implement it next year.  I think it’s a great way to teach them about sacrifice and that Christmas is not just about getting.  There is fun in giving!  Sure, I could give them money to buy their siblings a gift or just put their name on a gift I’ve bought  – that’s how I’ve always done it.  But I think a gift means a lot more when sacrifice and heart was put into it.

I love Christmas and all the memories and traditions that come along with it.  I just hope that one day when my kids are grown and have families of their own, I’ll remember the fun I had in starting new traditions with them and relax when they decide to change things up a bit for their own families’ good!


  1. No comment. I’m still feeling bitter about traditions this year. 🙂

  2. I will remind you of the tradition thing when one of the kids can’t make it to Christmas because they are going to the other side of the families Christmas get together!

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