Every year on December 6th (or close to it) our family celebrates Saint Nicholas Day. The kids love it because they get a small taste in their stocking of the gifts that are coming on Christmas Day. My wife and I love it because we get to share a small version of the history (and legend) of Nicholas of Myra, the historical man behind our modern day “Santa Claus” that’s been popping up in stores since Halloween. Plus we have a nice dinner.
We have a few other traditions as well. On Christmas Eve, we read through Chapter 2 of Luke’s Gospel to tell and retell the amazing story of Jesus Christ and his birth which we celebrate by overspending on gifts, overeating some amazing food (and desserts), and decorating our home the weekend of Thanksgiving. On Christmas Day we join together with other family members and enjoy each other’s company, build a big fire in my dad’s fireplace, and make memories. We also have a hanging advent calendar and let the kids move the tree from day to day until it hits Christmas Eve. And there is our large Nutcracker with a wooden calendar over the fireplace… my son insists on being the guy who changes the date counter each day.
These are great traditions I will hold for the rest of my life. As parents, my wife and I hope our children will one day do the same with their families.
Do you have any family traditions at Christmas? Have you thought of some new ones this year? Feel free to steal our ideas. Tell us about what Christmas is like for you!