Give the Gift of Christmas Traditions

Rhonda RobinsonBy Rhonda Robinson4 Minutes

Christmas traditions. The very word, “tradition” has a regal tone that commands respect and adherence. So much so, it’s easy to shy away from them. After all, many of us are still honor-bound to the traditions we inherited from our parents. So we don’t create new ones. However, even the smallest traditions, can create great childhood memories as well as a sense of belonging and security for your children.

When you think about it, children have very little control over their world. Their lives are both filled with new experiences and tightly controlled. They have no power over whether or not they will go to school, sleep, eat, or when they can freely play. All of which is as it should be. But even within those confines, children can feel like they are at a loss for what will happen next. Traditions, (like good routines) give them a sense of knowing what will happen in the future —something good they can look forward to.

Before you file this away in the “gee Mr. Obvious” folder, consider this: although we know this, we don’t often consider it as something children must contend with. The fact that they live in a world that is highly unpredictable and have no power to adjust it. This can lead to all kinds of insecurities and fears. Too often, we as parents just don’t take a moment to look at the world through our children’s eyes.

Christmas is a perfect time of year to create those little traditions that can add so much to your children’s childhood.

Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

  • If you get a real tree, make it a family excursion, and have the children “vote” on the perfect tree.
  • Add a little mystery to Christmas morning by filling the tree with candy canes after everyone is asleep.
  • Begin playing Christmas music in the house for a span of time, such as the week of Christmas.
  • Every year pick a new Christmas book to read aloud in the evenings.
  • Of course, Christmas movies and hot cocoa are always a good choice.

The wonderful part of filling childhoods with memories is that you can very easily do it by simply repeating it more than once.

Children love repetition. That is the secret sauce.

It’s not what you do, it’s when and how often. The simplest events, when combined with sights, sounds, and scents such as cookies in the oven on Christmas Eve with music playing while putting together a puzzle. Do it more than once and you have a cherished childhood memory.

When you combine the repetition with environmental changes, such as music in the air it embeds in their young minds the joy of childhood, and Christmas deep in their memory.

Many children use Christmas as their time markers. They count Christmas’ as a way to understand time. They remember so much, perhaps it is because Christmas naturally touches delights all of the senses. But even more so, the spirit. Don’t miss the opportunity to tell the story of the birth of Christ.