Disney’s short about family traditions surprised most of us who watched the latest movie Coco. It featured Frozen movie characters: Olaf, Elsa, Anna, and Kristoff. It was not a very short “movie short”. Yet, it has effectively expressed a very timely message for the coming Christmas season.
What are traditions? It is defined as “the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another” (Merriam-Webster). We can say that traditions are the things we ALWAYS do as a family.
Here are some family traditions you may want to have during the Christmas season:
Gratitude Jar or Thankful Box
This season is the best time for the family to sit down together and look back at the year that is about to end. There will be so many things to thank for. Get a jar or a box and place it on the table. Distribute small pieces of paper and ask each family member to write down things they are thankful for. Read each note and celebrate with a thankful heart.
This is also the time to talk about the real meaning of celebrating Christmas. It is the time of remembering the coming of Jesus to save all of us.
Gift-Giving and Gift Guessing
Make the gift giving more exciting by asking the receiver to guess what is inside the wrapped presents. This reveals how much you know each family member. It also encourages thoughtfulness in giving out presents.
Christmas Tree with Memories
You may want to have your Christmas Tree different by hanging special ornaments. This can be photos of events during the year. Or artworks of your kids that are really special. You can have a theme each year, or keep special memorabilia that you will hang every year and just keep adding on it. This preserves long lasting memories of the family events.
Sadness in Fire
You can have a bonfire for mallows and hotdogs outdoors. Ask family members to write down regrets and things that made them sad during the year. Throw the notes into the fire signifying moving on or getting over the sad event. This is also a good time to encourage each member of the family.
Giving Up the Old Stuff
Christmas is the time to look at your stuff and decide what things each member of the family will be willing to give up for donations. These will teach children that Christmas can be more about giving than receiving.
This Christmas, whether you have a small family or a big family, try to start having a family tradition that your kids will love. This tradition will be passed on by your kids to their own children and to the next generation. Family traditions make a family stronger.
What family tradition you will start having this year?