Last Updated on February 28, 2024

Back in November I was at a social gathering for women and each person was asked to share their family Christmas traditions with the group. Thankfully there were several woman who had to share before me so that gave me some time to gather my thoughts and figure out what I would say.

As I sat thinking, thinking, thinking, one by one I heard all these great annual traditions being shared with the group and many “oohs” and “aahs” at the stellar job these ladies were doing at building each year on magnificent family traditions. While I sat … still thinking.

I reasoned with myself, We have moved seven times and have always been away from our extended families so building traditions has been a bit tough. Many years we have traveled out of town for the holidays and a few years we didn’t know too many people in our new community. Still thinking…

As all eyes turned to me I shared that we always gather around the tree on Christmas Eve and listen to my husband read the story of Jesus’ birth from the Bible. I then managed to come up with a few little things, but nothing like these other moms—no “big” tradition that we had done year after year that could be labeled a grand family tradition.

Epic fail.

For the next few days my thoughts lingered over the fact that we didn’t really have a major meaningful family tradition and I felt like a loser with a giant “L” emblazoned on my forehead.

Then an amazing parade of past Christmas memories began to float through my straining brain. We have hosted others in our home, we have been hosted by others in their home, we have spent hours in a car to spend time with family, we have served homeless people, we have gathered neighbors for fun and fellowship, we have played in the snow, we have made gingerbread houses, we have made ornaments, we have spent the entire day in our pajamas playing games … Wow, we’ve done lots of interesting things through the years!

What God brought to my mind was that our Christmas tradition was not to have a Christmas tradition, but be open to whatever opportunity and blessing presented itself.

As I went down memory lane with myself I realized that maybe, just maybe, our Christmas tradition of doing whatever was placed before us is just what God knew this family of four needed to make us realize that it’s not about “what” we do, it’s about doing it together and creating memories as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Whether you have traditions, or non-traditions, your family Christmas is yours so make some memories, Mom!

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  1. Hello Tracey,
    Attending the Christmas lighting at our church has been our tradition for the last 4 years. But this year, we didn’t go ‘coz my family of four are all sick with severe cold, and still sick. As I read your blog, I’m looking at my coffee mug, and it says “Jesus…the gift of hope.” Yes, Jesus is my hope no matter what the present situation brings. Much blessings, Chris/Orange County/CA

  2. Julia DesCarpentrie says:

    Love it, Tracey! Relieving my guilt of abandoning my traditions this year due to changes in our family. Decided that sanity and enjoying the season of praise and worship is more important than gingerbread men, hand-addressed Christmas cards, and beautifully wrapped gifts (let the 9 yr. old wrap them instead! new tradition? thinking so!). I love your spontaneity- it's one of your best traits!