It seems like every family celebrates Christmas in some way in their home, whether atheist, Jewish, African or Christ followers. Each involves traditions of some sort. (I'm not going to go into semantics here.)
In our home, we try to celebrate Jesus' birth and our love for each other. We incorporate going to church and giving gifts to loved ones, decorating a Christmas tree with items representing us and our memories. In other homes there may be no gifts, no tree, or no going to church. There may be no celebrating Christmas with a focal point being Jesus' birth.
My seven-year-old has a classmate who is from another country and who does not celebrate Christmas with the same meaning as us. It's been interesting listening to the little things Cutie Pie says about him as far as Christmas is involved at school. I never truly gave it thought before, how Christmas is observed in school as a secular holiday, one that is assumed everyone at least acknowledges and tolerates, if not observes.
Cutie Pie talking about this classmate has made me more aware of our own family traditions and the way they reflect love and thankfulness for the reason for Christmas. The Christmas tree may not be a religious symbol of Christmas, nor the baking of cookies or exchanging of gifts, watching Christmas movies or shopping for gifts, but in our home we have incorporated these things into our Christmas celebration as a way of spending time as a family, extending our love and giving to others, and sharing the Good News that because Jesus was born, we celebrate!
As parents we can instill so many memories at Christmastime with the very things my family incorporates into our Christmas traditions, but rather than just holding it for Christmas giving I wonder what would happen if we lived it throughout the rest of the year, too? I know so many say that, and it's even lyrics of a song, but seriously, what if we lived truly sharing love and cherishing family time with our kids all year long? Will our children be happier, smarter, feel more loved and will it result in their wanting to share their happiness, their love to others even more?