When my oldest son was 4, he started to make the connection between Christmas and getting presents. I wanted to be sure he understood that Christ's birth is the real reason for all the celebrating and that giving and receiving gifts are part of the observance--not the point of it.
That was the year I started our "Christmas House" tradition. It's a large, house-shaped Advent calendar that I fill with ornaments we hang on a miniature tree. Each evening we open the door for that date, hang the ornament on the tree and read a verse of scripture.
Now that the boys are a little older and their attention spans are a little longer, I want our time together to last a little longer too. I've been acquiring Christmas story-books since I was waiting for Bug's arrival the Christmas I was pregnant. Now I have enough to read a story or two each night from the first of December to Christmas.
I've mentioned this tradition to friends, and they're interested in starting something like this themselves, so I'll be sharing about the books/stories each day until Christmas. (Imagine that! A post every day from me!)
Most of the stories I'll be sharing are specifically (and intentionally) Nativity-themed. We also read some books that are just fun; I'll post those too.
To add another layer to our tradition, I've started looking for Christmas Carols that correspond to the stories. I may share some of those as well.
My ultimate goal is to create a fun, kid-friendly family devotional time that provides a daily reminder to our boys that, in the midst of the parties and presents, there is One person the whole world celebrates this month.
I hope you'll join us in our tradition. Do you have a favorite Christmas story or Advent tradition to share?