This year for December Enrichment at church we had a very special progressive dinner and the theme of the whole event was on Traditions. People shared their Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s traditions with each other and it was quite inspiring. I felt a desire to try and incorporate some of these traditions into our own family traditions and these are the things that were successful for us.
- 12 Days of Christmas: Pick a family to Secret Santa for each of the twelve days prior to Christmas. For the maiden voyage of this tradition we picked a family who needed a secret Santa to supplement their Christmas efforts. The boys had a great time knocking and running away so they could be “sneaky.” Isaac got into it. He loved it. Micah only wanted to participate occasionally. Reece was too young to even let out of the car though he wanted to go too. This family lives in a apartment so it was easier to hide in the stairwells so we wouldn’t get caught. I’m sure we almost got caught numerous times though! The hardest element of this adventure was having something prepared every day to take… I had to be prepared and I often am not! The best part of this activity: it is fun and you know it is making someone’s season brighter.
- Journey to Bethlehem Christmas Eve Dinner: On Christmas Eve eat a picnic dinner such as Mary and Joseph would have eaten on their journey to Bethlehem to be taxed. We had dried fruits, dried meats (AKA beef jerky), oranges and apples, olives, bread, and other picnic foods. The downside: Reece doesn’t get strapped into a high chair so he wanders around stepping in everyone’s food, nibbling off their plates instead of his own, and knocking things down. The plus side: it provided some perspective and a great opportunity to talk about the Christmas story from the scriptures. We actually dressed up in Nativity costumes while we ate which was fun. Another plus is that there are much fewer dishes to clean up after this type of dinner rather than if you cook a turkey and all the fixin’s.
There were lots of ideas shared at the enrichment dinner. Another one I would like to incorporate in years to come is to obtain an ornament each year that reminds us of some big event from that year. There are lots of opportunities to be creative with this one. And then your tree becomes a monument to the years past and brings to mind lots of cherished memories.
This year has been a great one full of lots of blessings. These traditions really make a great way to bring the year to a close with lots of happy memories. I am grateful for the spirit of love that this season brings to our lives and most especially for the gift of the Savior that makes this season possible.