My mother had no idea she’d begun a family tradition. Distracting all of us with hot cocoa and Rice Krispies Treats, instead of arguing with each other about who would hang the prettiest ornaments, instead, our mouths were full of sugary heaven.
Fast forward twenty-five years, hot cocoa and Rice Krispies Treats are present in each of her four children’s homes. No Christmas tree is decorated without them.
Family traditions often start with little planning and even less fanfare. Yet, they hold memory-making power. They are unique family-fingerprints we leave behind for future generations.
Christmas is a wonderful time to leave a few family fingerprints on your own little ones. I thought I’d include a few fun things to do with your children this holiday season.
Read a Book – Turn off the TV and spend a few minutes each night reading a story to your children. Whether your kids are six or sixteen, it’s a sweet time that will be remembered. Click here for a list of Christmas books to read aloud this season.
Tour of Lights – When our children were young we’d tell them to get bundled up in their pajamas and jackets. I’d make hot cocoa (I’m quite the hot-chocolate-pusher.) and bring it in the car with lids for them to enjoy. Christmas music would play on the radio as we toured the neighborhood, “Ooohing and ahhhing,” over each beautifully lit-up home.
Anonymous Santa – Our children have memories of going to the dollar store and purchasing a bag of toys. On Christmas Eve we’d park our car and black out our lights, while the children ran our wrapped gifts up to the home of an unsuspecting needy family. Don’t let money hold you back from blessing a hurting family this season. A tray of cookies and an anonymous note will touch the heart of anyone.
Operation Christmas Child – Children in other countries don’t have the Christmas morning our children have. Take your little one down to the store and fill a shoe box for a little girl or boy. If filling a shoe box isn’t your thing, most churches have “angel trees” with names of less fortunate children in your area. Pick one and bless a heart this Christmas.
Christmas Cookies—Take a plate of homemade cookies to your local police or fire department. Don’t forget your police/911 dispatchers!
Movie Night—We end our Christmas season each year with a family movie. Tired from the day, full from the food, we gather in our pajamas—pushing aside stray pieces of wrapping paper and ribbon, and cuddle up to my favorite; It’s a Wonderful Life. For me, each December 25th ends with a few tears and gratefulness for the blessings God has given me…and a reminder to Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.