Christmas Traditions

Christmas Traditions | Blogmas 2022 | KW

Christmas comes this time each year no matter how the past 11 months have treated us. Some years are blessed with prosperity and abundance, while others are more prone to hardship and scarcity. Christmas isn't always a joyful season for some, and it can be quite disappointing if you're only looking through the worldly lens of the materialistic values that holidays are so often preoccupied with. Joy, peace, and love seem bleak in comparison to all the "stuff" that Christmas is associated with nowadays. Fortunately, God doesn't love us based on all that we can accumulate during the year. And we're even more fortunate that with each passing year, we have the opportunity to experience the hope that only Christ Jesus can bring. 

My prayer this year is that we can change the spirit of materialism into something less tangible or pricey, and focus more on the fulfilling spiritual and eternal aspects that encompasses the true meaning of Christmas. One way our family puts this into practice is through our annual Christmas traditions. 
Growing up, each season held its own occasions for celebration. When those special times would come my family would gather together, filling the air with laughter as we shared a meal and exchanged gifts while creating memories I cherish to this day still.

After the birth of our son, my husband and I knew we wanted to establish ceremonies deeply-rooted in our faith to celebrate each year as a family. These traditions, especially around Christmas, helps to remind us of the true reason for the season — Christ Jesus — as we look back over the blessings of years past with hope for the year to come.
Advent is a time for Christians to prepare their hearts and minds to commemorate the birth of Christ at Christmas. Advent is celebrated the four weeks, starting on Sunday, leading up to Christmas day. The themes of advent are: Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace.

In our family, we read a family devotional called "The Way to the Manger." Each night before bed we read the passage and examine the scriptures before ending with the kids opening their chocolate advent calendar. Some nights are more hectic than others, so there are times when we're not as consistent with our readings, but we *always* catch up whenever we can. In fact, the kids are quite keen on making time to read the Advent devotional. Perhaps the chocolate helps, but they're still spending time in the Word which is a win-win for everyone!
To really get into the Spirit of Christmas we always start with decorating the house the week of Thanksgiving. It usually takes us a day to get the decorations down, our trees set up and decorated, garlands draped beautifully and stocking hung with care, but we do so with great pomp and ceremony! No part of our halls will go without a good decking!
My Momma used the cutest vintage cookie cutters with me and my siblings each year to make festive sugar cookies. My favorite ones were the Angel and the Christmas Tree! Cookies always taste better when they're in fun holiday shapes and doused with sugary sprinkles! When I first started dating my husband,43 he would always gift me the sweetest (no pun intended) batch of homemade goodies... so the tradition must go on! Our Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk cookies are a holiday favorite that we make with love each year for our family and loved ones. We also decorate gingerbread houses with the kids and try a new recipe or two to bake treats to give to teachers and friends. It's one of our favorite ways to spread some love to those around us!
Christmas Eve service is another important tradition that we prioritize as a family. Depending on what day of the week Christmas falls on, take this year for example, we also get to enjoy a special Christmas Day service, too! The children love to get involved in community choirs and the Children's Church Christmas play, too. There's no better way to spend Christmas than with the church, using our God-given talents to bless others and share the Nativity story.
Christmas Eve is a big deal for Team Wesley. While Christmas day is right around the corner, we're just getting started spreading the Christmas cheer! Whether we're spending it at home just the five of us or gathering with the family members closest to us, we love to celebrate the night before Christmas! A few ways we like the enjoy the evening together is by playing games, eating yummy food (sausage balls, cheese balls, and cookies galore to name a few), and exchanging presents with the family. This night always brings such joy and delight to my inner child and I am so blessed to spend it with my loved ones.
We celebrate the culmination of the most wonderful time of year on Christmas morning. Waking early to watch our kids unwrap their gifts, enjoying warm Strawberry Wesley rolls for breakfast, and helping the kids unbox and set up their new toys are just a few things we enjoy on Christmas day. We leave the tree lights on all day and play our favorite holiday moves as we bask in the joy that only Christmas can bring, going to bed that night with full and happy hearts.
If you do not yet hold any traditions, this is your year to establish them! If Christmas isn't enjoyable for you, or if the world and people in it have left you void of all the joy and peace that Christmas brings, my prayer is that you experience God's love and presence like never before this year. Start traditions just for you! I know that if you ask God to draw close to you this time of year, He will not hesitate to show up. In fact, He's already waiting at the door, beloved one. Let Him in and experience Christmas like never before with a new heart and mind!

If your family enjoys celebrating Christmas traditions, I'd love for you to share some of yours with me and my readers. Please, leave me a comment below to tell me all about it! Let's keep Christ the center of Christmas this year and every year after that God blesses us with, until we will celebrate with Him face-to-face one day in heaven!

Happy Blogmas, dear ones, and a very Merry Christmas!