(*Written for Forever Bound Adoption December 2014)Many years ago when Brad and I were dreaming of starting a family I had big plans. I of course was going to be the perfect Mom and my kids would be incredible. Here we are, married twenty years and many of our "big plans" have changed to meet reality. Turns out I am not a perfect Mom but I do have some pretty incredible kids! I have grown up and learned a couple of things here and there. One great lesson has been tradition making. For many years after we were married we still followed our parents traditions when it came to big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. You know the trading off which side of the family we would go to for Christmas Eve, kind of thing. Then after our daughters blessed our home we began to realize we needed to start establishing our own family traditions.
Maybe you are in that place where you are looking for special traditions you can implement into your family. Here are a couple of our favorites during the Christmas Season.
Christmas StoriesOur book basket overflows with children's Christmas books in December. But my very favorite is called "The Crippled Lamb" by Max Lucado. It is a sweet story about a little lamb named Joshua who has a leg that doesn't work as it should and he has spots on his coat of wool. The other lambs in the field tease Joshua and he feels left out and alone. Joshua makes a special friend named Abigail who is a cow. She stays with Joshua in the barn while the other lambs to off to feed in a nearby field. Joshua gets the opportunity to see the new born baby Jesus and learns God has a special place for him and other who feel left behind. It is a tender story for me as I could relate to Joshua's feelings. I first heard this story during a church activity for children. At the time Brad and I were trying so hard to adopt and we had an adoption fall through. When I heard the story read to the children it felt like a special message just for me. It gave me hope! Each Christmas I share this sweet story with my kids and I share how I came to love this book. One year we created lamb ornaments for our tree. I am including a paper piecing pattern in case you would like to read this story and do this project with your children or children you love.
|Cute Lamb Paper Piecing Pattern. |
Great as a Christmas craft to go along with Max Lucado's book "The Crippled Lamb".
Christmas Eve Nativity Craft
A few years ago we started a new tradition. Every Christmas Eve we gather together, pray together and watch a short version of the story of Christ's birth. We then present our children with their wrapped Christmas Pj's but we call them their "swaddling clothes". They LOVE this tradition! After sharing feelings and thoughts we turn to the kitchen table where they kids are able to create a small nativity craft. If you look around on Pinterest there are many options. Here are a couple of ideas we have used the past two years.
|Cute baby Jesus in a manger craft we used in 2012.|
|You can go here for a tutorial.|
|Simple Nativity craft . Great for little hands. |
We used this one in 2013.
I love the quote from Nicholas Sparks:
"Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary simply by doing them with the right people."
This is how I feel about traditions....at first they seem so simple and ordinary but as laughs are shared, moments made, then memories are created. It is a ever circling joy that keeps the family coming back to each other.
Enjoy creating those special moments and joyful traditions!
*Got a great idea for Christmas Traditions please share in the comments section! We would love to hear from you!