Monday, December 10, 2012

Sweet Tradition - A Christmas Box and a Basket of Prayer

It's been a wild, wild weekend (more on that later). So this morning I'd just like to share some tradition, sweet tradition, that's been a blessing in our home....

"Mom," Sam says. "It's time for the Christmas box!" His eyes are round. His smile is wide. It warms me to know that this child, stretching too fast out of little-boy, is small and sweet inside.

"You're right," I say. "Go get the box."

Sam shoots around the corner. I shout after him. "And get your brothers, too!"

The Christmas box is a simple, square box with a lid (ours is glittery gold). At Christmastime, it sits on the mantle. It's filled with twelve index cards, and written on each card is an activity for the day. We call ours the Twelve Days of Christmas (but there's grace in that, too - the days don't have to be consecutive and Mama chooses the card).

The activity ideas are simple. Some are for serving (take cookies or make cards for neighbors, help stamp Christmas cards). Some are for learning (use an old family recipe to bake a Christmas treat, read a beautiful Christmas story - Mary's First Christmas by Walter Wangerin Jr. is one of the most lovely I've found). Some are crafty (mold Baby Jesus, Mary, and Joesph from clay, loop a simple green and red paper chain for the tree, or assemble an easy treat for winter birds). Some are just plain fun (take a family car ride to see Christmas lights, turn lamps down and sing carols around twinkling tree, watch a classic Christmas movie, or listen to holiday music and dance).

Whatever the activity, there is focus. Time shared. Intentional togetherness in a season that can feel crazy-wild.

I now hear footfalls. And voices.  A bevy of boys-of-all-ages pounds down the curved stairs..

It's time for the Christmas box and I'm excited, too.

There are memories and  joy inside.


Just another tradition I'd like to pass along...there's a basket on our dining room table. It's filled with the Christmas cards we receive. At mealtime, one boy chooses a card. Then we pray, as a family, for the loved ones who sent the card.

Now, what sweet and simple Christmas traditions do you hold in your homes? It would be a blessing if you'd share...

With love,


  1. I love your ideas! One that we have always done is making Jesus cake. We bake a birthday cake for Jesus, the kids decorate it by themselves. Santa gets the first slice, left on the table with a glass of milk. Christmas morning we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, the kids blow out the candles together and it is the only day of the year they get to eat cake for breakfast (no different than a donut, right?)! The other tradition I love is at my parents house. They leave baby Jesus out of the nativity scene until Christmas day. The kids sing Happy Birthday and each year a different grandchild gets to place baby Jesus in the manger Christmas day!

  2. Precious. Thanks for sharing, Kel. Love the birthday cake for Jesus (I can just see your dear babes). And the nativity with Jesus arriving on Christmas day - love that, too. Esp love that that happens at your parents' home. I think I'll borrow your traditions...

  3. I love the Christmas box Miss Shawnelle! We always put up the Christmas tree with Christmas music, drink hot chocolate and spend time decorating the tree with a lot of ornamants. That's my favorite part because we can always think of a memory connected with each of our ornamants and it's fun to remember Christmas' past :)

  4. That is precious, Ginny. And it sounds just like your family. You are so great about creating special times and memories. (Been thinking of you all day. Sending you the biggest hug. Love you)

  5. Thanks for the wonderful ideas. We make a birthday cake for Jesus too. It's such a great "kid way" to remind them what Christmas is really about.

  6. Thanks for sharing, Kathy! We haven't done the cake. I'm thinking that we should. Love it!