Here we go again. We are heading into the most wonderful time of the year. But I clearly remember getting to January 2nd this year and being a little depressed. It was all over so fast. Things got too hectic. Chaos and parties replaced close family moments and beautiful traditions. The last quarter of the year seemed to fly by in a moment and I missed out on some of the special things I wanted us to do as a family.
I don’t want that to happen this year.
So we are writing a Family Holiday Bucket List. I’m putting together a long list of ideas for things we can do during this fall/Thanksgiving/Christmas season that will help us focus on family and good cheer and attempt to avoid some of the commercialism of the holidays. Some of these are traditions for our family, but others are just fun things to help us create new family memories. Then we get together as a family and make a final list to focus on and make time for in our schedule.
Here are some things that will be possibilities on my list:
1. Picking apples and making our own applesauce for the winter
2. Jumping in leaf piles
3. Pumpkin farm and making pumpkin treats at home
4. Ice Skating
5. Create a “tree” with “leaf” thanks added during the month of November. Great to read before Thanksgiving dinner.
6. Thanksgiving craft with the kids to adorn the table through November.
7. Adopt a family to help for the holidays
8. Christmas Movies and Books to watch/read
9. Driving around with hot chocolates to see Christmas lights
10. Egg Nog! (though I’m the only one who likes it!)
11. Writing a special Christmas letter to the children we sponsor overseas
12. Christmas Eve cinnamon rolls to deliver to friends
13. Christmas Caroling
14. See a performance of The Messiah
15. DIY Christmas gifts for the grandparents
16. Advent Calendar with a special message for each day
17. Cut out Snowflakes to decorate the house
18. Take turns setting up each part of the Nativity, with different family members telling their figurines part of the story.
19. Traditional long noodles for New Year’s Eve (Japanese tradition)
20. Taking lots and lots of pictures!
When we have our final list, I’ll print each on a card and plan to attach one photograph to each card after we’ve checked that activity off our list. I’ll display the cards on a wall through the season. Afterwards, they can be slipped into a scrapbook to record our memories of this holiday season.
The Bible doesn’t specifically talk about the commercialism of Christmas, but I know we all feel the tug in our hearts to not get too caught up in it all. Making specific plans for quality family moments can help us focus on the real reason for the season and help us celebrate with the angel, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10, 11).
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