Celebrating Christmas Traditions: Making Memories

Family Christmas traditions make holidays special and memorable. You can probably think back to your childhood and remember traditions celebrated back then that you still honor today. When it comes to the holidays, celebrating Christmas traditions are what makes the day special and meaningful for all of us. Today I’m joining a group of bloggers to share a special Christmas tradition that we still observe today. Thanks to Laura at Duke Manor Farm for organizing today’s event!

Celebrating Christmas Traditions


I’ve shared before that I never believed in Santa Claus as a kid. My mother thought it would take away from the true meaning of Christmas – Christ’s birth. Most of our holiday activities revolved around our church family and activities.

Historic Church in Riverside, Illinois


In December, each Sunday School class at our church would practice a Christmas song or skit and we’d give a Christmas program for our parents. We’d dress up in our holiday finest and climb the stage for our performance. At the end of the program we’d enjoy a social hour with desserts and each child received a bag of Christmas candy. The evening was always a highlight for me.

Christmas Candy Canes


When Christmas Day finally arrived, my mother would set a beautiful table for our large family dinner (I have four siblings). My grandparents would come over to celebrate the holiday with us. They lived in Pawpaw, Illinois – about an hour away.

Holiday Table Setting with Gold and Crystal


Every Christmas was the same, as it is today. We eat Christmas dinner first and open presents afterward. And we open all those presents one at a time so everyone can see what each person received (it takes about an hour to get through them all). But before opening gifts, my father always read the Christmas story from the Bible – the same passage that Linus recites during the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

The Christmas Story. Luke 2:-14


This tradition of reading the story of the birth of Christ on Christmas morning is still very important to me. We continue to read scripture before we open presents. In a season where it’s easy to get caught up in commercialism and what each present might hold for us, it’s refreshing to reflect on the greatest gift of all – God’s son Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins so that we might have eternal salvation. He has given us so much!

For Unto Us a Child Is Born


This simple tradition of reading scripture on Christmas has lived in our family for many, many years – long before I was even born! I think of my father and mother every time we repeat this very special and meaningful moment. In less than two weeks, we’ll repeat the tradition once again before opening our gifts.

Celebrating Christmas Traditions


What Christmas traditions do you celebrate? Check out my blogging friends below to see what holiday traditions they enjoy!

Christmas Traditions It All Started With Paint |  Our Southern Home  |  Confessions of a Serial DIY’er


Christmas Traditions   In My Own Style  |  Kelly Elko  |  Town and Country Living  |  Artsy Chicks Rule


Christmas Traditions Duke Manor Farm   |  Cassie Bustamante   |    Savvy Southern Style

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  1. That’s wonderful and how I think it should be!
    Only my mother was a Christian, so I don’t remember doing that. one of our traditions was that we did not put up our Christmas tree and decorate it until Christmas Eve each year. That was because it was how my mother’s family had done it…and that tradition started because they were very poor and it was cheaper to buy a tree on Christmas Eve. It made it special to see that tree on Christmas morning. My siblings and I would each line up on the staircase, each child having a different stair (there were five of us), and wait for my parent’s to tell us it was time to come down and go into the den where the tree was. Of course, they were exhausted because they were up most of the night wrapping gifts.

  2. Honoring the real reason for the season is the best way to celebrate. My son has also raised his children in not making a big deal out of Santa Claus and on Jesus. How awesome that you lived close to your grandparents. Mine were far off so I only spent Christmas with them a few times.
    Merry Christmas Jennifer!

  3. We always read the scriptures regarding Jesus’ birth. We’re so thankful for this precious gift, given freely by God!

    We do stockings on Christmas Eve, and a more casual Christmas day, but we too, open one gift at a time, so all can see.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Thank you Jennifer that was a wonderful tradition and somewhat like ours except, we always had us and later the grandchildren dress like Mary and Joseph,we all love and remember the true meaning of the celebration.

  5. We did the same, but on Christmas Eve. My father recorded his voice reading the scripture and even though he has been gone many years,his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren still listen to him reading it on Christmas Eve,

    1. Hi Kathy!
      How special that you have a recording of your Dad reading the Christmas story from the Bible. What a truly precious memory that you can still listen to!

  6. Reading your precious memories and how you are passing them along has really made my day. We, like your Mom, made a decision to keep the focus of the Christmas season on Jesus and not Santa. We simply did not want to give fuel to the thoughts that would one day come… “Well, if Santa wasn’t real, perhaps this God that they talk about isn’t real either…” Our children knew that they were expected to let others believe in Santa and we had lots of fun acknowledging him as a whimsical part of the season. The evidence seems to indicate that our kids turned out to be well adjusted, stable and just plain fun to be around adults who love the Lord and who now also do a good job of keeping Jesus the Reason for the Season.

    1. Hi Deb,

      I think my mother thought the same as you – didn’t want us thinking maybe God was just a fantasy, too. I never felt like I lost out on anything by not believing in Santa. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas!!

  7. Jennifer- thank you for sharing your Christmas tradition. we do something similar on Christmas eve as well. we don’t glorify santa claus with the kids and rather focus on the true meaning this Christmas time. Merry Christmas to you and to your family.

  8. Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories with us, Jennifer! Traditions are so very important and amongst the hustle and bustle of the commercial side, we can lose site of the real meaning of Christmas! Wishing you a blessed holiday! XO – Christy

  9. Hi Jennifer –
    Thanks for sharing your Christmas family traditions and keeping the true meaning of Christmas alive. In my family we open our gifts one at a time, too. It makes the spirit of giving much more meaningful.

  10. Beautiful! Just beautiful! Thank you for sharing these lovely Christmas traditions; I just love that you have kept the true meaning of Christmas alive. Wishing you a blessed Christmas season and only the very best for the new year.