Updating Tired Traditions

A tween looking at a Christmas tree
MoodBoard / Superstock

My kids enjoyed our family's Christmas traditions when they were younger, but as they reached their late tween years, these traditions no longer seemed quite as fun to them. My husband and I decided that it was time for a change because we wanted our children to enjoy celebrating Christ's birth. We adjusted our traditions so our kids could take more responsibility and play a larger role in them.

New Christmas ornaments

Instead of buying ornaments for each child, I gave my kids a budget and let them purchase their own ornaments. Sometimes my kids spent weeks hunting for the perfect ornament that represented something from the past year.

Christmas cards and letters

Instead of picking one family photo for our Christmas card, I had my kids choose a few favorite photos from the past year. They also wrote their own section for the family letter. (All with parental veto power, of course.)


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Christmas tree

Instead of an exclusive family trip to the Christmas tree lot, we let our kids invite friends to traipse along to choose our tree. Afterward, we hosted a decorating party that included hot chocolate and treats.

Gifts for the needy

Instead of choosing a Christmas service project for the family, my husband and I allowed our children to pick someone or an organization to bless, such as Samaritan's Purse or The Salvation Army. They earned money doing odd jobs or recycling to pay for their personal project.

I knew that these traditions would need to be readjusted again as my kids grew older, but these small changes demonstrated that I recognized their growing maturity.

This article appeared in the December 2015/January 2016 issue of Thriving Family magazine. If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Thriving Familya marriage and parenting magazine published by Focus on the Family. Get Thriving Family delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount.
Copyright © 2015 by Marian Fritzemeier. Used by permission.

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