Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Traditions

Eilidh (rhymes with "daily", for the benefit of the non-Scots!) and I went on one of our regular trips to the local library today, and as well as picking up story books, I browsed in the home crafts section and borrowed a couple of books for myself. One was called Creative Christmas Crafts, which contains lots of ideas for Christmas-related craft projects, and the second was Mrs Beeton's Traditional Christmas. This also has some craft ideas but it caught my eye because of the recipe for chocolate ganache truffles. Every year for as long as I can remember, my Mum has made trays of sweets for family and neighbours each Christmas. This year we have decided to include Eilidh as well and continue the tradition to the next generation. I'm delighted as I have convinced Mum to make tablet (one of my all time favourites!) and we will certainly give Mrs Beeton's chocolate truffles a whirl. There may be none left for anyone else!

Christmas is a great time of year for family traditions and these can be a great tool to point our hearts and our children's hearts towards Christ. In her book Treasuring God in our Traditions, Noel Piper writes:
Only God can give our children a taste for his sweetness. Only God can awaken them to his worth. But he uses means. He uses God-centred traditions and Bible-saturated family patterns and grace-laden heirlooms. Year in and year out our traditions can show children that God is our Treasure. With family traditions rooted firmly in the Bible, the next generation absorbs the truth that the treasure we have in God is ancient in wisdom and strength - and fresh as the morning dew.
In her chapter on Christmas, she states:
Christmas is only one small part of a whole year of living, working and ministering in our churches and to our neighbours, of meeting our family's physical needs, of teaching our children. Just one small part of the year - but with our hearts and spirits open in anticipation and excitement, what an ideal opportunity for remembering and teaching.
You can listen to a radio interview with Noel Piper here where she talks about Christmas traditions and how we can set the right tone in our homes.

Maybe you would like to start some traditions this year with your own children, or children in your family. Scripture Union's website has some great ideas for crafts to help children focus on the Christmas story. Or pull out your recipe books and make some Christmas treats for your friends and neighbours.

We'd love to hear about your Christmas traditions too, so why not send us some comments!

1 comment:

Amanda Robbie said...

We've been making a Jesse tree for the last few years - every day in Advent we hang a symbol on the tree and run through the bible story from creation (a rising sun), the fall (an apple) and the flood (a rainbow) right up to the birth of Christ (a manger scene) with lots in between. There are lots of ideas on the web if you Google on 'Jesse tree', but we are using the pattern given at the back of 'Disciplines of a Godly Family' by Kent and Barbara Hughes. The kids (aged 5, 3 and 2)love to hang up the decorations (we made them the first year we had a Jesse tree) and we use them to help them to learn a simple bible overview. Iseabail (age 5) is just beginning to be able to read out a simple bible verse to go with that day's story. It's great!