Family/Godly Traditions

Janette - posted on 09/15/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Once in school as a quick write we were asked what family traditions we celebrate at home. Nowadays that can be difficult for some (single parents or broken families). I grew up in a Christian home and was blessed (not without its share of difficulties though). My husband and I live in Ukraine (we are from the States). My family spent certain holidays doing certain things. The "bunny plate" was for breakfast and the honored birthday guest sat at the table munching their favorite homemade delicacy. At Thanksgiving, we had family come from all over CA to celebrate but my favorite was when my cousins and I walked off the turkey and "talked" as we shared stories about life. During Christmas, my immediate family did the Luke story, stockings, the tree and sang carols then opened gifts. My mom made creamed egg on toast (really good-yummy). Anybody have any other family traditions to share. Even odd or weird or different is good. Ideas are to be shared and appreciated. Thanks. Janette (Our baby boys says thanks).

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Kisha - posted on 09/19/2009

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Our tradtions are similar to many of you.

Christmas- I would have my kids make their ordiments when they were younger. Its funny to see the ones they made years ago. Also, every Christmas Eve night I read the birth of Christ from the bible.

Then I would have our entire family over for dinner either for Thanksgiving or Christmas. THis is something my grandmother then my mother. But since they both are in heaven, I try to keep the tradition going. Two years ago, when my husband and I were engaged, I had both families over, and it was crazy, in good way. I usually do all the cooking which is fine because my family is small, but husband has a very large family and we had almost 50 people in our house and I did all the cooking. So, we may just do potluck to keep this tradition going...

Rebekah - posted on 09/19/2009

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Quoting Heather:

So all of the cross easter stories reminded me of what my old church now does on Easter. I was never part of this so I didn't think of it. But they have started putting up a wooden cross each year and everyone in the congregation is encouraged to take a piece of paper and write the sin that they struggle with the most (or as many as they want) and nail it to the cross.


We do something similar to this at our church at Easter time, only we don't have people write down their sin and nail it to a cross, they simply do a prayer and nail a nail into the cross and take communion.



Another church I visited one year, they had a cross and people wrote down their sin on a piece of paper then they would do a corporate prayer and had a segment for people to pray on their own, then they would rip up the pieces of paper throw them on the floor and dance over them, as in celebration of their freedom - I thought that was pretty cool.  Plus, you could use that in so many ways - victory over sin, satan is defeated, etc.

Heather - posted on 09/16/2009

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So all of the cross easter stories reminded me of what my old church now does on Easter. I was never part of this so I didn't think of it. But they have started putting up a wooden cross each year and everyone in the congregation is encouraged to take a piece of paper and write the sin that they struggle with the most (or as many as they want) and nail it to the cross.

Julie - posted on 09/16/2009

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My son is just about to turn 1, and I am looking forward to starting new traditions with our family.



Some traditions I will take from my family. For Christmas, on Christmas eve, we read the Christmas story from Luke, and we all get to open 1 gift. My mom gets to pick which gift we open, and it's usually new pajamas which we all wear to bed that night. In the morning, whoever is up first makes hot chocolate and apple cider and we all gather around the tree and open gifts one a time so everyone can see what everyone got and we can all thank each other. It makes it take about 2-3 hours to open presents, but it is much more meaningful than everyone ripping open gifts at once (which is how my husband's family does it, and it about made me cry the year we went there to visit because it was so different my family, but lucky my husband likes my family's way better).



One new tradition I want to start with my family is limiting the number of gifts. I very much appreciate my parents' generosity as I was growing up, but even then I sometimes felt that the huge number of presents overshadowed the meaning of Christmas. I read about a tradition that I want to do with my kids: each child got only 3 presents, because that is the number of presents that Baby Jesus got from the Wise Men. I also want to use Christmas as a time to teach about serving others like Rebekah was talking about.



For the other holidays, we'll have to see as we go along what kind of traditions we build. There are some great ideas here I may try!



Rebekah, you're rugged cross at Easter reminds of one of the churches I attended growing up. For Easter, during Lent they would put up a big ugly wooden cross out front of the church, covered in chicken wire. On Easter morning, everyone coming to church brought flowers and stuck in the chicken wire to make a beautiful "living cross."

Rebekah - posted on 09/16/2009

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I had awesome family traditions with holidays, but we also celebrated the typical holidays as well as ones that seem to get overlooked.

St. Patrick's Day - we always celebrated my birthday on this day since my birthday is actually the 18th. I marched in a parade every year twirling batons, then we'd go to The Revolving Restaurant in Atlanta, GA. After my birthday celebration, we'd walk around downtown Atlanta and pass out money to those in need and tell them Happy St. Patrick's Day - since it's actually a Christian holiday.

Easter... we had different things that we did. My favorite thing we did as a family was we put up a cross that was wooden and it was rugged, I mean ugly. My mom would tell the story of Jesus' death and resurrection and then we'd decorate the cross to represent the beauty of Jesus' life.

Thanksgiving - we had a plastic bread that we would write on pieces of paper all the things we were thankful for and during dinner we'd pass it around and read them.

Christmas - We picked out a new ornament each year to put on the tree. On Christmas morning, my mom would read the story from Luke, then we would pray and get ready for breakfast. We didn't open gifts until after dinner. Prior to Christmas day, my mom would do the 24 days of Christmas, and on each day leading up to Christmas we would do different things like, serve at a homeless shelter, collect coats for needy kids, deliver cookies to senior homes, etc. And my brother and I were given Christmas money to buy gifts, out of that money our parents had us choose to buy a gift for someone special, one year I remember visiting a hospital in the burn unit with kids and I chose to buy this little girl a dolly she wanted. To this day that little girl still writes to me. :)

Anne - posted on 09/16/2009

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When I was a child the Baby Jesus in our manger scene was not attached to the crib. My mom would put up the scene with out the Jesus in the crib. Instead she would dye cotton balls what ever color my older sister and I wanted. Hers was always pink mime was always blue. When ever mom "caught" us being nice or doing an extra chore with out being asked she would put our color of cotton ball in the scene on top of the crib. Likewise if we were in trouble she would make US take out one cotton ball of our color. On Christmas Eve after we went to bed she would replace the colored cotton balls with white cotton balls. Unfortunately I had forgotten about this until our daughters were much older and it was not something I passed on to our girls. As a Christian mom I realized a missed opportunity to remind our daughters why Jesus was born.



WE do have 2 Christmas traditions that we have kept from my husbands childhood. The first is to read the Christmas Story out of Luke and Isaiah. We also open one gift each one after the other, showing what we received and thanking the person it came from. Santa brought the stocking gifts which were always useful things, like socks and underwear.



the second tradition we have kept not only for Christmas but also for Birthdays is to have a "Search" gift. One gift is not put under the tree, instead an envelope with a clue as to where to find another clue will be found. There are usually 3 clues with the third clue leading to the wrapped gift. My mother-in-laws mom is responsible for this tradition. She had gotten a snow suite type coat for my mother -in-law one year for Christmas. Instead of wrapping the gift she put it near the tree with a broom inside it to hold it up. Even at 25 our oldest daughter still enjoys the Search gift. For Birthdays the envelope is the last gift the birthday person opens.



My husband has also started a tradition almost by accident. One year when money was tight he made me a Valentines Card. Not your run of he mill computer generated card from a computer program. His card had pictures in it that were special to me. The verse was also something he wrote just special for me. Then he found a Bible Verse to go along with the theme of the card.

Victoria - posted on 09/15/2009

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I grew up in a non-christian family, so many of the traditions we had I have chosen not to pass on to my children. I love our Christmas tradition. On Christmas eve we attend an evening service at our church where we listen to "The Gift" CD a telling of the birth of Christ mostly in song. That is followed by a fellowship with the church members where we all hand out cards and gifts. Once we get home, we sit with the children & all take turns to open & read a Christmas card & pray for the person or family that gave it to us, the kids then get to open one gift each. On Christmas morning we read the account in Luke, prior to opening gifts & once again as we open gifts we pray for those who gave them to us.

Heather - posted on 09/15/2009

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Every Thanksgiving we go to Texas to my husbands parents, everyone from his family goes there including his cousins. We have Thanksgiving dinner in the basement of the Church because their house is too small for us. After the meal we go around the table and each person says one thing that they are not thankful for, and then one thing they are. Some people say things like they are not thankful that so and so got the last piece of pumpkin pie, but they are thankful that they are there, others are deeper in their's. Like they are not thankful for all of the evil in the world, but they are very thankful that Jesus is has overcome the world.



Every Christmas my mom comes to our house, and we read the story in Luke. We are starting a new tradition this year that I read about just after last Christmas. Along with the other gifts under the tree will be baby Jesus. The person that shared this idea with me took the baby Jesus out of their manger every Christmas and gave it to a different family member. When it was opened they said "I got Jesus". I am thinking about going to the thrift store and getting "Jesus" for everyone in my family! :)



For Easter we talk about how important Jesus is, and why we need him. What he did for us, and why. And we read the end of Luke. We don't do the egg and bunny thing every year. Last year was a no egg year. We want our kids to know that Jesus is the important part and not over shadow him with candy. There are some really cool things to do with eggs and candy to explain easter though, so on occasion we through those in.

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