Confession #67: I’m Trying to Come Up With Christmas Traditions

Christmas traditions.

They were some of my favorite growing up. And I never could wait to create some of my own with my own kids some day.

I never quite imagined, however, that my first Christmas traditions would have to be created under the Caribbean sun, without my family, without a snowy backdrop, and without all the yummy Christmas goodies. But here I am.

I never could have dreamed I would be the kind of parent who would purposefully have the “there is no such thing as Santa” talk with her 5 and 7 year olds because that is not the kind of Christmas I want them to celebrate. But here I am.

And I never thought I would be the kinda mom who would have one small 4-foot tree as her only holiday decoration and be okay with it. (I forced my family to go all out each year growing up.) But here I am.

I love Christmas. I mean, REALLY REALLY REALLY love Christmas.

Perhaps it is because I am not home for the holidays. Perhaps it is because I can’t have my Tender Tennessee Christmas (God bless you Amy Grant for putting me in the Christmas spirit so many years). Perhaps it is because I live in a country which Santa always just seems to forget on Christmas Eve. Perhaps I am just gaining perspective…

Nevertheless, in our little home, I am trying to create a few holiday traditions for our kids to cherish through the years. They aren’t much, but I think that is why they are going to be so special!

Christmas treeTradition #1: Christmas Tree Decorating

Here are the little ones after they decorated the Christmas tree. This year I brought home some of my boxed up decorations from Tennessee so it feels a little like a country Christmas here in Haiti. We can only turn the lights on when we have city power or when we run the generator, but that only makes the tree that much more magical!

AdventTradition #2: Jesus Story Book Advent

We LOVE The Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. Every story beautifully points to Jesus and it is great for the whole family to read together. This year, we did the Jesus Story Book Advent as we focused on minds on the birth of Christ and the coming of our Savior. It has been such a joy walking through God’s divine story with our kids this year!

Christmas CookiesTradition # 3: Christmas Cookies

This one is a hand-me-down from my grandma to my mom and then down to me. And I will have to admit, the cookies are getting uglier through the generations. My grandmother’s cookies cook win awards, and my mom’s are pretty nice too. But the cookies the Kittrell’s decorated tonight…hmm…I’m too embarrassed to even take a picture of them. Now, I will say that they are the best taking sugar cookies I may have ever tasted (Yes, Grandma. I did say that.) But my husband and my kids can’t decorate worth a hoot. Nevertheless…they had a blast. And that is all that matters!

Blurb BookTradition #4: Kittrell Book Year in Review

We have kept this tradition going for three years straight and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. As long as it continues to make the grandparents happy (which is does) we will continue doing it. Every year for Christmas, the Kittrell family makes a book for our families as Christmas presents. The book shares pictures of the kids throughout the whole year and shows how they have grown, what their milestones were, what their favorite things were for the year, and so forth. It is a great present that makes memories and doesn’t involve having to go to the mall and buying something you don’t really need in the first place! If you want to do something similar, our favorite place to make book is Blurb. Check it out!

So there you have it, our Kittrell family Christmas traditions. If I was really good, I would have a #5, but I just haven’t come up with one yet. Maybe next year. Or maybe I could get some ideas from you. (Although remember I am in Haiti!) What family Christmas traditions do you have?

~ Jillian

3 Comments on “Confession #67: I’m Trying to Come Up With Christmas Traditions

  1. Jillian,
    I love this! I think those are pretty fantastic traditions. The tree looks great – Christmas lights are definitely high on the list of traditions in my book! Makes everything magical as you said. Thank you for reminding me to be thankful for traditions as a part of celebrating Christmas. If I could add one it would simply be singing Christmas hymns and carols! Whether just as a family at home or singing to others, some of my favorite songs of praise are Christmas ones.

    Like

  2. This is awesome, Jillian. Your children are going to have such a wonderful Christmas. The country decorations on the tree are perfect 🙂 Love and Peace to all of you. Thank you for all you are doing over there.

    Like

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