Sunday, December 1, 2013

4 Traditions 4 Christmas

4 Traditions...
Issue: Christmas 

In This Issue
Reindeer Mix
Gingerbread Man Chain
The Kindness Box
Hanging Wish List

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Michelle Fozounmayeh
A joy filled wife and mom that enjoys writing, praying, speaking at women events and being an Area Coordinator with the ministry Moms In Prayer International.

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Throughout the years I have come to have a deep respect for the role family rituals and traditions have on the healthy state of our family.

For many years I worked as a Family Consultant with Once Upon A Family and picked up a few ideas.  Although traditions in our home have had seasons of success and seasons of rest or have had to be modified and/or changed to fit our family's needs, they still exist!  

Each issue of 4 Traditions features ideas I have gathered and/or created that you can use or modify to fit your family's needs.

Reindeer Mix...

Make a special "Reindeer Mix" with one cup of oats, one cup of barley, and two spoonfuls of gold glitter.  It's a secret recipe that comes straight from the North Pole, and is just what the reindeer need to fuel them for their evening of delivering gifts.  On Christmas Eve, instruct your children to leave the mix o n the driveway, front lawn, or any other spot where the reindeer might want to rest and enjoy a snack.  After the kids have gone to bed, clear most of the mix away, leaving just a few oats as evidence that the reindeer have made their visit.

Gingerbread Man Chain...

This is a wonderful way to organize your holiday To-Do list, so you can actually enjoy the festivities.  Make a paper chain with 24 Gingerbread Men, and write the numbers 1 through 24 on the front of each one.  Make a list of all the things you need to do during the month of December and write one on the back of each Gingerbread Man (buy the Christmas tree, decorate the Christmas tree, hang the outdoor lights, decorate inside the house, make homemade cookies, donate toys, wrap presents, and mail the out-of-town gifts, etc.)  Breaking the month of December down into one small task a day will make the holidays fun instead of overwhelming.  At the same time, it will show your children that there is more to Christmas than just treats and presents.  Your children will love taking Gingerbread Man down each day to discover which Christmas task they can help you with next.

The Kindness Box...

December first is the perfect time to start your family "Kindness Box" for the holidays.  Wrap a shoebox as if it were a present, then cut a slot in the top and place the box, along with a pencil and pad of paper, on the dining room table or under your Christmas tree.  When someone in the family notices someone else being kind they should write that act down and slip the note in the box.  Young children can participate as well, by either drawing a picture or telling mom what they saw and having her jot down the kind deed.  Don't forget to slip in ways God shows His kindness to us.  On Christmas Eve, when everyone gathers around to read the Christmas story, open the Kindness Box first and read the notes aloud.  Then you can end with explaining that the kindest act of all is what God did for us by sending Jesus to us on the very first Christmas ever.  Then read the Christmas story.  There are several age appropriate books as well as reading it straight from the Bible.  This is a wonderful way to take the focus off presents and put it on something of true value.

Hanging Wish List 

This tradition is a new twist on making a wish list of what we want for Christmas.  You create a pouch, for each family member, to hold the Christmas wish list.  Fold a 10" x 4" piece of construction paper in half, punch 3-4 holes on each of three sides, and lace around it with festive string or ribbon.  Tie it at the top, leaving extra ribbon for hanging.  Have fun decorating them with each person's name, and feel free to make one for Grandma and Grandpa, or any other out-of town people.  Hang these "Wish List Pouches" where they will be accessible to all family members.  Instead of adding to your own list of what sort of stuff you might want, family members will add to others' lists of what they would like to see other family members receive.  Maybe brother knows that sister loves candy canes and he can wish she gets some candy canes in her stocking this year.  But even better is to write down "good tidings of great joy" type of wishes.  Maybe great grandpa has a bad hip, someone can wish that he feels better really soon.  Before Christmas dinner have everyone open up their wish list and read all of their wonderful wishes.  It's like receiving wonderful blessings placed upon their lives and these are gifts that can't be broken or worn out!
All 4 HIM,

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