We love our kids and we want them to know they are loved! Moreover, we want then to know they are loved by Christ. Paul captures it perfectly in Ephesians 3:17-18, when he writes, “I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love.”
Oftentimes, the roots that connect us to God’s love grow deeply through Christ-based traditions and rituals. These remind children of their value and worth. Traditions provide memories and feelings of comfort, safety, and security. Traditions provide roots for children, allowing them to shape their expectations around a special time or event with deep meaning.
Simple traditions make home a special at Christmas time and throughout the year. Families provide confidence, connection and security as they shape new traditions and continuing older ones. They help parents teach and remind children of their value and worth. These traditions provide an opportunity for parents and grandparents to shape values, passing the love and hope Christ gives from generation to generation.
With all the benefits, consider the traditions that your family will prioritize during this season. A few traditions to consider this Christmas:
- Read the Biblical account of Christ’s birth. Take time to focus on the beautiful gift of love God sent. Reading Luke 2:1-20 together sets the tone for each of our days leading up to Christmas. If your family has a Christmas nativity, set one out. If not, print out the pictures and glue them to toilet paper rolls. Make it fun. Move the characters around. Consider the thoughts of each character.
- Attend a Christmas worship service. Emotions come alive with the words of the angels when they say “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:14) UBC offers many opportunities to attend a service together. From Sunday morning, Sunday evening, weekday or even Christmas Eve. Take time to truly stop and consider the joy, sorrow, hope and love that comes through Christmastime worship.
- Prioritize down time together. Peace comes when we slow down and enjoy the presence of our family. Investing time in this manner rejuvenates our souls and energizes us. Make together time a priority. Use activities in the Family #ADVENTure Bag to carve out space to be together, sharing the joy of experiencing advent and praying for others. We cannot allow family to take a second place to “stuff.”
Cultivating traditions that empower and teach family members Christian truths provide the security, connection and comfort that strengthen in times of joy and sustain us in times of difficulty. As we prioritize these opportunities, we live out Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “Commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.”