I'm sorry ... I couldn't help myself. This morning during prayer time we were asked what one gift we are wishing for this Christmas (after all, there are only 57 more days until that holiday arrives!). It was fun to listen to the varied responses from folks around the room. Over on the Sonlight Forums people are already asking when the Home for the Holidays Forum is going to make its annual appearance. Outside my house snow has fallen, coating tree branches and making a beautiful picture of my street and back yard.
The thing I love the most about the holidays (Thanksgiving included) is the traditions we've established and look forward to year after year. From the very simple (we always watch "White Christmas" on Thanksgiving Day), to the more complex (our Christmas Eve movie and a snack can get quite involved as we always try out new and elaborate recipes), in my humble opinion, traditions are what make the holidays special.
What traditions does your family observe during the holidays? If you haven't established any that are unique to you, might I encourage you to get your children involved in creating some? I've blogged in the past about Holiday School (another one of our traditions). Perhaps you can start there and begin a homeschool tradition that your students look forward to each year. Or maybe head over to Sonlight's Pinterest page and look at the Christmas board. There are some fun ideas there that could turn into a holiday tradition (i.e. Jesse Tree crafts).
Traditions don't have to be terribly involved ... you certainly don't want them to cause you additional stress over the holidays! A blog post that I read recently defined family traditions as rituals, practices and beliefs that are handed down from one generation to the next. It went on to define the purpose of traditions as enriching families, promoting a feeling of closeness, and strengthening family bonds. I believe that no matter what your traditions look like ... how simple or involved they may be ... the mere fact that you look forward to them as a family, year after year, is what makes them so valuable.
So your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to create one new tradition for the holidays that you and your family can enjoy. Then head over to our Home for the Holidays Forum and share your new tradition there. If you're coming up empty in the creativity department, check out the holiday forum to grab some ideas that you can tweak for your own holidays. It's a pretty good resource for everything from gift ideas to new recipes to organizing and planning for the holidays.
Then let it snow, let it snow ....
Still on the journey ...