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Family Traditions That Keep the Focus on the Real Reason For the Season

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The holiday season is what I consider to be the best time of the year to make memories as a family. With sisters who live out of town, it is often the only time we are all together during the year.

With my own family, it is the time of year when we have the most traditions, and in our case, we start with many of these traditions before December even begins.

While there is so much focus on all of the secular things about the holiday season, as a Christian it is important to me that we keep our focus on the real reason for the season in the traditions that we take part in year after year.

Most of our favorite holiday traditions cost little to no money at all, and since my kids vary in age from teens all the way down to toddlers, these are things that kids (and even parents) of all ages love.

Looking for some ideas on how to make amazing memories with your family this year? Here are our favorite holiday traditions that help keep our focus on what really matters during this time of year.

holiday family traditions

Baking holiday cookies to donate

We love baking cookies and then finding unique places to donate them. Christmas is all about giving, and what better way to do it than to create something homemade for someone else?

Our favorite place to donate them is at the hospice center up the street. It is so difficult to be dealing with losing a loved one at any time of the year, but especially during a time of year that is all about family.

Often, those visiting loved ones in hospice care don’t think about doing anything for themselves, so this is a great way to give a special treat to someone who deserves to feel loved.

holiday family traditions


Where you bring your holiday cookies doesn’t matter. It’s all about working together in your kitchen as a family and blessing someone else in the process.

Creating care packages

Similar to the above tradition, we love putting together care packages to donate to local shelters.

We work together on this one, setting up an assembly line in our living room. Even the little kids love putting things in the bag.

All you need to do to make this happen is buy things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant, combs, band aids, and maybe a warm hat if you live in a winter climate like we do.

You only need a simple resealable bag to put everything in. Then, your family can get to work putting them all together.

Even better is to have one of your kids make a little gift tag that says something like: “Thinking of you this Christmas,” or, “Praying for you this Christmas.”

This is such an amazing opportunity to be a witness to someone you will never actually meet.

Christmas caroling

This is largely a lost art these days, but it shouldn’t be! This is even more fun if you go out and carol with a couple of other families with kids.

When someone opens the door to discover that you are there to sing them some Christmas carols, the smile on their face is simply priceless.

My kids LOVE this tradition.

Holiday movies

There are so many amazing holiday movies. Many are classics, but there are few that that aren’t focused on the secular meaning of Christmas.

This year I am so excited by the opportunity to share an amazing family movie with my family that keeps the focus on the real meaning of Christmas.

Just in time for the Christmas season, Sony Pictures Animation will be releasing THE STAR, and it will be the perfect addition to our family traditions this year. With amazing voice talent from some of today’s leading stars, this is a movie that is all about a small but brave donkey named Bo.

Eager to explore what lies outside of life outside his home village, Bo sets off on an adventure and meets some pretty special friends along the way. Together, the friends become the accidental heroes in the story as they follow the star to become witnesses to the greatest story ever told – the first Christmas.

holiday family traditions

In theaters across the country on November 17, I am so excited to see a movie that I know my kids will love and that isn’t focused on all the typical hype of the Christmas season.

Children telling the Christmas story

We have several nativities in our home. Some of these are kid-friendly. Throughout the Christmas season, we encourage our young ones to tell us the Christmas story in their own words, acting it out with the nativity.

We often record each of our kids (maybe 12 and under) and show it to their grandparents for part of their Christmas present. They look so forward to it!

Reading holiday cards each night

Every day the kids are so excited to look for holiday cards in the mail. We don’t open them until right before the younger kids are going to bed, and then we read them as a family.

holiday family traditions

Then, everyone who is able says something about the card giver that they are thankful for. This way we are blessing the sender in return (even if they don’t know it!).

Three Christmas gifts on Christmas

This is also a tradition that has been a part of our family since my youngest was born.

Each year, our kids receive only three gifts from us on Christmas. This represents the three gifts that Baby Jesus received when he was given gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Not only does this bring back the focus to the first Christmas, but it also helps keep the holiday overwhelm and greediness away.

The Baby Jesus

Every year, my husband and I choose one of our kids to receive the Baby Jesus. We take the Baby Jesus from one of our nativity sets, and the lucky recipient receives Baby Jesus as one of their three gifts that year.

This is a tangible reminder that He really is the ultimate gift, and, that He was given to each one of us.

The holidays are an amazing time of year. We love spending time as a family throughout the year, but there is just something so special about the things we do as a family during the Christmas season.

Traditions are such a simple way to bring your family together. Join my family in some of our favorite holiday traditions this year.

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