I Love Christmas Traditions!

Cara christmas 31 Comments

christmas header

There’s something about the Christmas season that can make it hard to breath. Life seems to speed up thanks to all the extra Christmas parties, rehearsals, pageants, shows, recitals, ack! But I long for Christmas to be a time to slow down and focus on what it really means. A small season to focus on the greatest gift of all and the many gifts He’s given us.

For my family, that takes the shape of traditions. Some are pretty normal. Others you might not quite expect.

Here’s a quick look at a few of our traditions:

  • Time with family. Christmas is a time when we spend days with my extended family. It is a time we all cherish. Cousins, often separated by hundreds of miles, spend every moment playing, laughing, shopping, connecting. Celebrating the gift of the family that God gave us. Out of all the people on this large world, He planted us in two amazing families…and that is a gift we celebrate.
  • Ours aren’t this pretty!

    ADORNAMENTS: A week ago, my six-year-old asked me why we hadn’t started the Adornaments yet. These are simple ornaments that highlight the different names of Christ with devotions for each day. Because we homeschool, these simple Christmas ornaments are a part of our daily devotions…an opportunity to recenter our thoughts on the true reason for the season.

  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Come on. Raise your hands if you’ve ever read this charming story of the Herdmans inaugural experience with the nativity story. It’s a hilarious and heart-touching look at a story we all know so well that we’ve often forgotten just how special and amazing it is. So we either read it outloud together or get the tapes from the library. But either way, this story is part of our Christmas celebration.
  • Cookies! We love to bake…and bake…and bake. We put together assortments of cookie plates to take to our neighbors. We may not connect often, but at least once a year we can let our neighbors know we see them and appreciate them. And if life gets too hectic like it did last year, then the treat is homemade Chex Mix. I don’t think it matters so much what we make as that it is given with love from grateful hearts.

gift tagTraditions are important not only for the fact that they give us moments to stand with our past and future…but because they give us a connection with each other.

What are some of your Christmas traditions?

The Christmas Blog Tour:

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– 12/10 – Beth Vogt: A copy of Somebody Like You or A November Bride (winner’s choice); a $5 Starbucks card 
– 12/12 – Cara Putman: A copy of Where Treetops Glisten; B&B Works lotion
– 12/14 – Kristy Cambron: A copy of The Butterfly and the Violin or A Sparrow in Terezin (winner’s choice); a $5 Starbucks card
– 12/16 – Katherine Reay: A copy of Lizzy & Jane or Dear Mr. Knightley (winner’s choice); a Lizzy & Jane tumbler
– 12/18 – Katie Ganshert: A copy of A Broken Kind of Beautiful; an audio copy of An October Bride
– 12/20 – Courtney Walsh: A copy of Paper Hearts; Christmas artwork
– 12/22 – Melissa Tagg: A copy of Here to Stay; an It’s a Wonderful Life DVD
– 12/ 24 – Sarah Ladd: A copy of A Lady at Willowgrove Hall; a Pride and Prejudice DVD
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Comments 31

  1. Cara, what a wonderful post. I love traditions. Unfortunately it seems everyone here at my house is sick this year. We are slowly getting into the spirit of the season. I love making memories with my family.

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  2. I long for traditions, and pray to [re]establish some again. My kids are grown now, but my favorite things we did when they were growing up were: to have a live tree. This comes from living in Colorado and going to the mountains to cut our own tree. [when I was a teenager] The other tradition is that I make cinnamon bread / rolls / coffee ring – whatever form I come up with! My own secret recipe of course! And that is our breakfast on Christmas morning. We attended late night church service on Christmas Eve, set the cookies out for Santa, and every year my kids got books under the tree!

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  3. Our family attends the local production of A Christmas Carol every year. We began doing this when our now college senior was a first grader. There have been times when someone could not attend due to a trip to the ER or college finals, etc. but it’s always a fun outing. We are headed there tonight.

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  4. I love this post, Cara! I had a, hmm, let’s just call it a “moment” earlier this week when the weight of this season–job busyness, writing and what feels like a bazillion projects in progress, Christmas shopping, so many gatherings–pressed on. Not in a good, warm, cozy way. 🙂 It started to feel like the only real tradition I’m keeping this year is busyness.

    Then the next morning, I woke up and had just a few minutes of quiet and forced myself to think of all the wonderful things about this time of year, all the things I love, all the joys. And it was such a wonderful change in perspective. Suddenly “unending busyness” wasn’t the “tradition” that stood out anymore. And I’m finding little ways to celebrate the season and what it stands for even in the midst of a packed schedule. I’m really grateful for that.

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      Melissa, I love that. Sometimes we really do have to stop and force ourselves to remember what makes this season special…and then let go of some of the noise of the season. Hugs, my friend!

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  5. I think I had more traditions as a child growing up than I do now. My mom was so good about making certain things every year…like ski tea, homemade caramel corn, pineapple/cheese cracker dip. Music was ALWAYS playing. She made each present a decoration, spending time with each package. Nothing was ever just “wrapped”. She made me a candy calendar to count down to the 25th. She made it very special. I’ve tried to carry on the traditions with my boys. But, they are teens/20’s now and don’t seem to care much. 🙁 Loved your post. Thanks! <3

  6. Christmas is special for the obvious reason, the birth of our King, Jesus Christ. Also, it is special to me because I can share it with my hubby. Two Senior Citizens who married in their 50’s and loving that Christ is the center of our marriage. The 24th of next month we will celebrate 11 wonderful years together, Lord Willing! Since we both have grown children and they live in various parts of the USA with one living in Stockholm, Sweden, it is usually just the two of us. So our Christmas tradition is to eat Christmas dinner out and then we take in a movie. Just the two of us, So nice and cozy!

    Blessings and Merry Christmas!

  7. Christmas traditions – waffles with strawberries and whipped cream for breakfast. Driving randomly around town hunting for pretty decorations and lights. Making buckeyes, chewy noels, and mini coconut fruitcakes.

  8. Christmas traditions are big in my family. Even though I’m an adult with my own family, we still, along with one of my sisters, go to my parents’ house on Christmas eve day and bake goodies and appetizers which we eat for dinner. Then we get in our p.j.s and open presents. We spend the night and open our stockings Christmas morning. It’s a fun time!

  9. I love Christmas! It is my favorite season and starts early for me. When I was young, I always looked forward to the packages that would arrive from my grandparents in far-away Ohio! My, some things have changed. I just finished 3 care packages for my 3 eldest kids and their families who live in far away United States (I’m in Japan). I love baking and use some of the same recipes that my grandmothers used. Some of those goodies make it into the care packages. I love giving. Finding the perfect gift for people gives me so much joy. And I love have many opportunities to share the true meaning of Christmas with Japanese people who have never even once heard the Biblical Christmas story. So thankful for this season.

  10. It’s been ten years since we’ve had Christmas with our family, since becoming missionaries. We host a mission trip, Celebrando Navidad on the Mexico border, so now celebrate with 100 other missionaries, sharing about Jesus!

  11. I love Christmas because it is when we celebrate the birth of our Savior! As I was growing up our family had a birthday party for Jesus. We always had angel food cake and Mom would put a candle on the cake for everyone who had accepted the Lord as their Savior that was at the party which means as each of us kids accepted the Lord a new candle was added. When we were young Daddy read the story from Luke 2 but as we became teens then we would all quote Luke 2 together as a family. Then the candles on the cake would be lit and we would sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and then blow out the candles. Mom would also make homemade eggnog. Then we would open all the gifts under the tree. It was always such a special time for me growing up and I followed the tradition even if for many years it was just me. I am single and never married and since I was a missionary and not able to travel home very often for Christmas I did spend many a Christmas by myself. Although I was always invited to someone’s home for Christmas dinner. The Lord does provide and is sufficient.

  12. Music at Christmas envelopes me with all the season’s best. The amazing old and new carols in my collection of CDs create the feeling for me. Jesus’ birth breaks through in the words and melodies.
    Our Christmas Eve candlelight service brings my family together at our church and we all love it.
    My family at Christmas is the cherry on top!

  13. Being able to have Christmas with my family is what we love doing. When my Mom was still living she made all kinds of candies and Christmas cookies to send home with us. Driving around Christmas eve to see all the beautiful lights.

  14. My favorite tradition is finding a Christmas tree somewhere in our woods…it’s always interesting/exciting to see if we can make the 21ish branches look amazing 🙂

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  15. I love being able to get together with family and friends. My favorite tradition is before we open presents, we gather together and usually my brother reads The Christmas Story from my Mother’s first Bible.

  16. I do a lot of baking and candy making to give to family and friends. My family gathers together on Christmas day to exchange gifts, eat and visit/catch up on all of the news about each others lives.

  17. I loved ‘Where Treetops Glisten’! When you combine Christmas, WWII, Christian Romance and three amazing authors, the result can be no less than fabulous. And that is exactly what this book was.

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  18. My church is really what makes Christmas special to me. All of the wonderful God-centered traditions of Advent are filled with joy and hope! The songs during Mass are so beautiful and the church looks so excited to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. It really helps me focus on what it really important this season.

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