Our family LOVES Christmas. What a more glorious way to celebrate the birth of our Savior. We have several traditions that we’ve started some newer, some later, but we very much enjoy them all. We started having Advent devotionals several years ago and we buy Christmas ornaments from our vacation spot for the year…I know many of you have similar traditions. The two traditions I want to share a couple that you may never have thought of before.
Several years ago Shane was laid off at Christmas. It was only by God’s grace that we paid our bills, and in addition, we even paid off some debt. God is SO good! But we started a tradition that year that has remained. We make home made gifts that we share on Christmas Eve. The materials need to cost around $5.00. We’ve had everything from tissue paper art (when the children were younger) to an "imperfect" plaque I made one year of that year’s family theme verse. The year Sweet Cheeks came home, her home made gift was a name plaque with the attributes we thought fit her. As the years pass, we have to help the younger ones less and less and the gifts are more and more creative.
The tradition that is fast becoming a favorite is our gift-giving tradition. Last year Desiring God (John Piper’s ministry) offered a small paperback book that could be purchased by the case for $1 a book + shipping ONLY if they were given away. We bought 2 cases and wrapped each book in Christmas paper with a "Merry Christmas from our family" note. We gave them away to friends, family and to the people we met while shopping… the store clerks, the barista, whomever we met. It was SO MUCH FUN! We have continued the tradition this year. In addition to Piper’s book, we’ve added some children’s books we found on clearance at Answers in Genesis.
We’ve had people look in amazment at us, clerks have asked "for …. me?" yes! for you. Merry Christmas! We’ve had people jump up and down and say "I got a present" giving gifts to others helps us get the focus off of us, and almost always brings a smiler to the receiver. Giving books to those that we regularly see has helped us make friends with them. And, most importantly, we’ve planted a seed about Christ. What God does with that seed is up to him.
May your Christmas traditions glorify Christ and May you be blessed all year long!
From our family to yours!