“Is your house decorated yet? Is the tree up? Did grandpa hide the pickle? Did she find baby Jesus or is he still lost?”
Three granddaughters burst through the front door excited to be at Grandma’s to make a Christmas craft.
Yes, the house stood decorated for Christmas … including the tree. The pickle hadn’t been hidden yet, as that will have to wait until Christmas Eve.
And baby Jesus was found at the bottom of a box and glued back into the 35-year-old manger scene … again. He’s been chewed on by all of the grandkids when they were toddlers. He looks rather tattered. But this time I used gorilla glue.
Why you need Christmas traditions
Whether you have lovely memories of a childhood Christmas or not, what you do about your Christmas traditions today will influence the future happiness of yourself and your family.
The simple activities of singing Christmas carols, wrapping gifts, decorating a Christmas tree, baking cookies, going to church, visiting family, and giving to those in need are all common activities of the holiday season.
Even taking the kids Christmas shopping … cooking Christmas breakfast with your spouse … watching a grandchild’s Christmas play … or having a cup of tea with a friend are all valuable experiences.
Some are exciting and some quite ordinary, yet each has the potential to bring joy long after the holiday is over. Even into your old age!
What science has to say
Concerning recent research on this subject in the journal, Psychological Science, lead researcher Ting Zhang of Harvard Business School stated,
The studies highlight the importance of not taking the present for granted and documenting the mundane moments of daily life to give our future selves the joy of rediscovering them.
What God does with Christmas traditions
Whether you realize it or not, your brain is documenting what you do over the holiday season. The Holy Spirit will bring these mental snapshots up at various times in your future.
Joy in the memories is the gift God gives you through traditions.
Even when you don’t count something as a tradition, like always doing dishes with a child after Christmas dinner, it becomes a tradition for that child. And both of you will remember those dishwashing times with joy in future days.
Admit it …
You know what I’m talking about because you’ve experienced it. Now … go make some traditions with your family and friends that will bring joy to them long after you’re gone.
And share with us in the comment section below what memory making tradition you do every year to create future joy. I’m always looking for new ideas!
For more ideas about celebrating with traditions, see 7 Ideas for Connecting With Family by Connecting to the Past.