A Special Christmas Tradition

December 7, 2009 — 8 Comments

“Mom, can you write a note that says, ‘I think you’re a great person’, and put it in Dan’s lunch box for me?”

“Mom, can you help me get the red plate out that says You’re Special. I want to put it at Sissy’s place tonight, but I don’t want her to see me putting it there.”

These were the kind of comments that were heard in our home during the Christmas Season each year. At the beginning of each week of the month of December we would all draw names and then we would try to do secret acts of kindness every day for the person whose name we had drawn. We called it Christmas Secret Pals!

The children loved it, but Don and I loved it even more as we watched our children consciously focus on the rest of the family and do something kind for them each day. We started it when they were very young, so sometimes the little ones needed our help to write notes to their siblings, or to pick up their Dad’s favorite candy bar at the grocery store. But watching them deliberately think up ways to bless their secret pal and observing how their hearts were attune to the other person’s likes and dislikes was something we will treasure in our hearts forever. It touched us to see them care for other family members, and it also caused their hearts to be knit together in a deeper way. It was a Christmas tradition that held great purpose and brought great results!

What is a Christmas tradition you did/do in your family that was or is meaningful to you? I’d love to hear them! Please share!

8 responses to A Special Christmas Tradition

  1. I remember a few years when Mom and Dad took all four of us kids to the Mall (now that I have four I know what a sacrifice that was alone!). Once there we would walk through all our favorite stores and "shop" – watching each other like hawks to see what each person wanted the most. Then we would split up and the three would buy for the one until we had four very carefully chosen gifts.

  2. this will be the first year w/o my dad here, even though I did not have every Christmas with him over the past several years. Up to this past Christmas Eve he would fix oyster stew (and potato soup the younger ones), and enjoy chatting around soup and appetizers before opening our gifts(that sat under a tree decorated with all our childhood ornaments) that night. It always seemed to build up to the point of everyone gathered around my father in the living room while he so passionatly read the Christmas story from the Family Bible, then he would tell us all from young to old how wonderful Jesus is! I am going to miss sitting at his feet – however it sounds like at least 1 person from each family is picking up his baton passed on – the tradition continues, however the oyster stew may not!
    thanks Cheri for sharing moments!

  3. Felicity, what a sweet thing to do for each other! And you're right, I too, know from experience, they were brave to take all four of you to the mall at one time!

    Jan, those memories and traditions your dad instilled in your family grow more precious, don't they? I think the first Christmas without our parents is the hardest, but your wonderful memories and godly heritage will help immensely.

    Thank you both for sharing. I hope others join in. This is great! I love it!

  4. Great post. I love reading about other people's traditions. It gives an insight into their lives, and gives me inspiration and good ideas to try on my own family. I always enjoy your writing, Cheri'. Thanks for sharing your life!!

  5. Cheri'

    What an awesome idea! Oooh, I may have to start that this year! The wheels are turning! Thanks!

  6. Some of the traditions that were the most memorable about our Christmases were the things that were the hardest to stand for in the moment! We would all gather in Mom and Dad's room (this was easy, because we woke up at the same time, due to a tradition my sisters and I kept that included ALL THREE of us sleeping in the same double bed on Christmas Eve!). My Dad would read us the Christmas story out of Luke and we would pray together. I still remember sitting and listening to Dad pray — trying so hard not to think about presents! Then we went out … to the kitchen. Mom and Dad's rule was that we had to eat some breakfast before presents — Aahhhhh! But they made it easy for us by providing a breakfast of chocolate chip muffins and Sunny Delight. We had to eat at least one muffin and drink some juice. So hard at the time, but looking back I think it was so fun.

  7. Joy, thanks for your encouragement! It means a lot!

    Mrs. Rabe: Since you're always giving me inspiration and ideas, I'm really glad I was able to stir some things up in you! Let me know what you do, okay?

    Eleanor: I know exactly what you mean! We open presents on Christmas Eve with my sister's family. We make the grandkids wait until after we have dinner together and then Don reads the Christmas story, before we start opening presents. I know they can hardly stand it. Your story confirms it 🙂

  8. I love that tradition, Cheri. I'm going to incorporate that into next week's large group lesson with the kids. I'll let you know how it goes. It's pajama night & our theme is Silent Night. I know there's a way to weave in doing a secret (silent) act of kindess for family members. Hmmm. My brains reeling!

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