This year, the holidays look much different than they ever have. Not many are traveling to see loved ones. As a result, families are forced to reevaluate their Christmas traditions, or have to scale them back.
As for my family, I have four little ones to account for. I can’t skip celebrating Christmas just because I can’t see my extended family. My kids are counting on me, to have a nice Christmas.
How Our Traditions Changed
Throughout the month of December, we have accomplished many common Christmas traditions. These are not all of our traditions, but by far my favorite ones. Despite COVID-19, we have made the best of this wonderful time of the year.
As a family, we’ve made and decorated sugar cookies and attempted to make gingerbread houses. Instead of gingerbread, we used graham crackers, but had no milk cartons to support our structures. The kids loved to eat them, anyway.
As a small group of women, we had a cookie bake. It was fun to see what other kinds of cookies other families make at Christmas. We made enough cookies for the elderly and shut-ins of our church. I loved including my daughters in the project, taking the chance to teach them giving and generosity.
Buying and Wrapping Gifts
Since my family and I were in quarantine late October, early November, I got this done fast! Thanks to Amazon and online shopping, I was done with my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving!
For those of you who know how much I procrastinate, this is a Christmas miracle!
As a result, I still felt a sort of guilt inside.
When shopping for household things or groceries, I would find something that could have been a perfect gift for a loved one, but I’d for sure overspent my budget. In hind sight, I should have made one for Christmas gifts.
Despite my previous notions, I didn’t feel done or a sense of relief to be done shopping.
No idea why I still feel this way, but it has been a good lesson in self-restraint.
It isn’t responsible for me to empty our bank account just to attempt people-pleasing success. Can you relate?
Don’t get me started on wrapping! Imagine an entire table full of gifts, halfway to the ceiling – and I wrapped them all! Well, most of them. Now that I think about it, I have run out of at least five rolls of wrapping paper, and used probably ten overall.
In my defense, some of them were used last year, and most were the character-printed, skimpy kind of wrapping paper rolls. I love wrapping gifts, but for the first time in my life, I actually got sick of wrapping. I still have to wrap two late coming gifts, and I just don’t want to. Pathetic, I know.
Last but not least, is my favorite tradition. Whether it is at church, with friends, or with my family, I love singing Christmas carols.
Yesterday, after church, a small group of us went caroling at the local nursing homes.
As a group, we went window to window, singing of our glorious Savior, Jesus, and the celebration of Him.
This by far, was the most impactful.
The joyous faces of those trapped in their room, waving and so excited to see other people, singing to them. I can’t tell you how good it felt to see my kids understand the reason we sang to them, and to feel compassion and cheer towards them. That is priceless!
In hindsight, I think this is God’s way of teaching me a lesson.
Teaching me to be content with keeping things simple, not overdoing it, and not worrying about the impression I make.
Instead, focus on teaching my kids giving, generosity and putting others first, etc.
Most of all, teaching them Christmas isn’t about gifts or decorations or cookies.
Christmas is just that, celebrating Christ.
His miraculous birth and coming to us as a humble baby, so someday pay for the sins of the world, for all time!
Now, He worth celebrating!