Early in December I wrote a post called “A Special Christmas Tradition”. In it I shared a Christmas tradition we had started when the kids were little, and then asked others to share theirs. Some shared them on the blog, some told me in person, and some emailed me. My dear friend Annette, sent me an email with their family’s tradition and it grabbed hold of my heart. I asked her permission to share it here because I think it will be something many of us may want to incorporate in years to come. I know our family does.
I’m going to quote Annette as she shares with me their family tradition. (Annette’s husband’s name is Woody.)
“It was many years ago, probably 20 or so in my devotions that I was praying how we could make Christmas Christ-centered for our kids………I kept praying, day after day and one morning this came to mind. So you see, it was really from Him in the first place. It has been a rich family tradition for us.
The week before Christmas, each member of our family, (now our daughters-in-law too) write a gift to the Lord, our own gift that is of ourselves to Him. We each, sometime during the week, put it on the tree in an envelope that says “Jesus”. As the kids have gotten older, it is something we ask them to “prayerfully” do. Then Christmas morning before any gifts are distributed or things get going, we sit around the tree. Everyone takes their own gift to Jesus off the tree. Each year a family member is selected to read the Christmas story, and after that is done, usually from youngest to oldest we read our gift out loud — what we are giving to the Lord this next year. Something of ourselves, our walk, something we need to trust Him with, etc., you get the picture…..
When that is done, through many tears, Woody takes all of them in hand, we gather in a circle and he prays over our gifts.
It truly has become more sweeter and precious through time. Now as the kids are older, they see the meaning in it all. Also, I keep the requests in my prayer journal over the year and pray over them. And I have kept them from when the boys were 5 and 6 years old.”
What a beautiful tradition to have instilled in the lives of their children and now into their spouses and one day into their grandchildren! I love it!
We “tried” to start this tradition this year, but failed to accomplish it completely. Some of us put our gifts on the tree, but some didn’t get them done. Then, due to weather-related issues we were unable to gather everyone for the reading of our gifts. However, when our little granddaughters Claire and Ada, (who love to write notes and will spend oodles of time standing at my desk in the kitchen writing and drawing), learned they were to write something to Jesus, they immediately did so! Both put their gifts on the tree along with others from our family.
Don & I took the various envelopes down from the tree this morning and read them. You can view our granddaughter’s notes in the picture above and below. Even though we didn’t accomplish it as an entire family this Christmas, I’d say it’s begun in our hearts! And by next Christmas I’m sure it will come to fruition!