With the holidays rolling around I have been thinking about traditions a lot lately and how to make things more meaningful for our family, especially around Christmastime. Traditions can be such a powerful method of building family unity and story, building anticipation together, creating expectation, entering into the gospel story together, and really learning to celebrate (which, for my melancholic personality, is sometimes forgotten!).
So, more than anything I wanted to send a shout-out and ask for ideas for traditions from your family. Maybe I can compile comments (and links--hopefully you will send some over!) and re-post the ideas people send in so that we can help each other.
Here are some things that we have loved and are growing to love more...just some ideas to get you thinking about how you celebrate:
1. Celebrating Advent. The past few years we have done a Jesse Tree as a vehicle to share the gospel story with our kids. Its really helped us all to see the big picture of why it was so important that Jesus came.
2. Celebrating Lent. I don't know what we'll do this year, but we definitely went through some devotions leading up to Easter last year. Does anyone have any great ideas for helping kids enter in?
3. Doing a Passover meal. Our first was a little boring, I think, for the kids, but hopefully in the years to come it will be a lot more meaningful. We'll see how this develops.
4. Having special breakfast on each of the kids' birthdays (and celebrating Jesus' birthday with a special breakfast and birthday cake, too!).
Also, I was reading a book today (Hopefully I'll write a little ditty soon on what really impacted me from the book, but just take it from me and buy it. Its $3.99 on kindle now!) that suggested taking a closer look at the church calendar as a way each year to live the gospel story together, starting with Advent, then moving to Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Maunday Thursday, Good Friday, Paschal Vigil, Easter, Pentecost, and then taking the rest of the year to focus on the Gospels. Now, if you're like me, you don't know what these words all mean yet. Its ok...but what I am really asking its, "Do any of you do this?"
What other ideas do you have? Please send all the links you can muster! What did your parents do when you were younger that was really a treasured thing for you?