Yesterday was "Family Worship" at our church. Every time we have a 5th Sunday in a month, we all gather together for services that target all ages. It's a special day for us -- other Sundays feature services for children in elementary school. Our middle school and high school students also have worship services designed for them.
But... about once a quarter we all join together. I'm pretty sensitive to the need to bring this service to a level that the entire family can get into. Yesterday, being the first Sunday of Advent, I asked kids and youth to write down some of their Christmas traditions. After getting almost no response, I realized that "tradition" is a word that children don't use much. (Perhaps I should have asked them what special things their family does to celebrate Christmas.)
I did, however, get responses from a couple of teens. Here is the one I found the most interesting...
When I was in Kindergarten my teacher read us stories about how boys and girls around the world celebrated Christmas. The one I liked the best was about children in Germany who had good luck if they could find the pickle that was hidden on their tree. I came home and begged my mom for a Christmas pickle. She found one and now every year we look for the hidden Christmas pickle.
Having shared one of our family traditions last Friday, several of you commented about the need to do some traditional things to keep you in the right spirit for Christmas. I think it's important. Otherwise, the "frantic-ness" of the season with swallow you.
At church, we are encouraging families to celebrate Advent. As most of you know, "advent" means "coming." For Christ-followers, it's natural at Christmas for us to celebrate someone coming. And, no, I'm not talking about anybody who lives at the North Pole.
What are your family traditions during this season?